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The Munich Syndrome and the American Way of War

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The Munich Syndrome and the American Way of War

Peace in Our Time
Peace in Our Time
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Except for the dead, their families and the permanently maimed, America's misadventure in Afghanistan is yesterday's news. America has a brand new war to get excited about. Of course America wasn't the first nation to run aground in Afghanistan. Greek King Alexander tried to subdue the place on his way out to India in 330 BC. Like today's Neocons, Alexander wanted to conquer the world. He couldn't do it. The Greeks stayed there for 400 years and there are still some cities named after them. From: A Journey around Parthia by Isidore of Charax (early 1st Century AD):

Beyond is Arachosia at 36 schoeni. And the Parthians call this White India; there are the city of Biyt and the city of Pharsana and the city of Chorochoad and the city of Demetrias; then Alexandropolis, the metropolis of Arachosia; it is Greek, and by it flows the river Arachotus. As far as this place the land is under the rule of the Parthians.

Isidore gives the distances in schoenus (ropes); an ancient Egyptian unit of measure that varied according to whoever used it. Arachosia is in ruins at Ulan Robat. Before the Soviet invasion (1980) there was a weekly bus (the Magic Bus) that made the 4000 mile journey from Amsterdam to India. The bus passed right through Afghanistan no problem. Nowadays, such an overland journey is impossible and none of these sites are accessible. Back in those days Kabul had plenty of nice cafes open to women and a superb ice crà me parlor. That's all gone now as the present rulers don't like people having fun.

The Cave of the Golden Dragon

The Russians invaded Afghanistan to protect the then communist government in Kabul, limit Islamic tribalism within the Soviet Union, and to test the military equipment: they hadn't been in a real shooting war since 1945. Afghanistan isn't known as The Graveyard of Empires for nothing. The Soviet Empire collapsed ten years after their invasion. The Americans invaded in 2001 and turned tail in 2021; the longest war in American history. It is doubtful there will be any cities named after them. The Afghan population is extremely hostile to invaders. American soldiers could not take any leave in the capital city Kabul unless they wanted to be cooked alive in hot oil, a fate suffered by some unfortunate Russian soldiers on leave. They didn't have any contact with the natives except in full battle gear and only when out on mission. American soldiers stayed in large fortified compounds and air-conditioned communal tents. It was awful. All food was flown in, catered in the Philippines by corporate America. The air-conditioning cost billions as did the chow. The total cost was one trillion dollars or 5% of the national debt. The American people know nothing of this and most of them couldn't care less. The rationale for war was they wanted to kill Osama bin Laden who supposedly ran an international terror organization out of a cave in Afghanistan. The now dead but legendary bin Laden is somewhat akin to Dr. Fu Manchu, a Hollywood villain who directed the vast tentacles of his international crime syndicate from The Cave of the Golden Dragon in China. Life imitates art or something like that. The Americans didn't get out of Afghanistan until too late because the Munich Conference in 1938 was proof positive that America and the west could never afford to take a single step back against evil. Until the world is totally disarmed and pacified, constant warfare against any nation not in accord with representative democracy (and freedom as its necessary corollary) must be destroyed. Thus, foreign policy is made simple and historical interpretations of it in academia and media nicely uniform. Even better, Afghanistan's occupation was an easy sell on all those Sunday morning political talk-shows. The fact that opium is the world's most lucrative cash crop, and that Afghanistan produces 90% of it, was never mentioned.


Now America has a new war and we of course are already winning it. We always win them until we lose them. Like in Afghanistan the Americans will find it impossible to disengage. One day the American people might discover that the war isn't against the Russians but against them. By then it may be too late to prevent the descent into darkness. click here

Any American who expresses any sort of displeasure about the new war will be accused of Appeasement to the evil Vlad- Hitler. If there is any wonder why the USA always seems to be mired in unwinnable but expensive wars, it's not just the brutal economics of it. It is the philosophical notion that any step back away from war will always lead to future catastrophe. This is why there are so many references to Putin being the new Hitler; as was Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser when he ran afoul of the west and renegade communist Yugoslav President Slobodan Milo... eviÄ" when he had to be destroyed, and of course the frightful Saddam Hussein and, well the list is long.


For a long time the once famous German province of Sudetenland was synonymous with the policy of Appeasement. When viewed through hindsight, the surrender of the Sudetenland in September 1938 is seen as an abject capitulation to the depredations of an insane and malevolent bandit (Adolf Hitler). But it is also regarded as a strategy failure of monumental proportions; one that influences American foreign policy to this day. The Sudetenland is a mountainous and forested province that brews the best beer in the world. All the ingredients for beer are indigenous to the region and the water there is naturally soft. One of the monumental events in the whole history of western civilization took place in the Sudeten city of Pilsen with the invention of blond Pilsener beer in 1842. The brew is smooth as silk. Germans brewed beer and lived there for thousands of years, but they were all driven off or murdered by Edward Benes and his police in 1945-46.

Willkommen ins Reich

Benes was the peace-loving President of Czechoslovakia. When the Blut und Boden (blood and soil), Pangermanic crowd wanted to welcome the Sudeten Germans into Hitler's New Order (Neuordnung), Benes caved in. Joe Biden talks about a New World Order too, but it's supposed to be much better. Hitler is most often blamed for the 2nd World War. The pundits often lament: if only Hitler could have been stopped. If he was to be stopped it was at the Sudetenland: the Czech army was first rate, well equipped, manned by thousands of combat veterans in excellent fortified defensive terrain. But Benes lacked guts. John Wayne once said to an antagonist: You have a yellow streak down your back a mile wide. The same could be said of Benes. He was a big man when it came time for his thugs to machine gun German women and children into ditches, but when real courage was needed he ducked for cover. There was one other thing (never mentioned) that the Sudetenland had lots of, and still does: one of the world's richest deposits of uranium ore. The Sudetenland would become a center for German atomic bomb research. 1

Go home and get a nice quiet sleep Neville Chamberlain

Neville Chamberlain was a decent sort of fellow who represented the interests of the Anglo-Saxon British ruling elite in 1938. That's why they made him Prime Minister. He was a businessman and came from a political family. He missed the World War's first phase (1912-1923) and sincerely didn't want to lead his country into another one. When Hitler and the Pangermanists (Pan, from Greek all; as in all Germans settled in one country) demanded the incorporation of the Sudeten Germans into Hitler's new Third German Empire, the politician in Chamberlain wanted to make a deal. After all, that's what politics is all about. He made what was then a radical decision and decided to board an aeroplane and see Hitler personally without his Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax. It was just going to be him and Hitler. This was one of the first face-to-face international summits. These sorts of meetings, now commonplace, were unusual back then. Normally Foreign Service diplomats stationed in capital cities would conduct diplomacy by cables to and from the home office. This was exactly how the general European war (1914-18) began after the July Crisis in 1914. There was failure to communicate. Chamberlain didn't want this to happen again.

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John Henry Egan lives in the Mojave Desert and has a degree in History from Hofstra University, He is published nationally and internationally in military history and film theory. His latest book is; War and Migration 1860-2020: The Ruin of (more...)

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