Jeff Jacoby blasts the notion of negotiating with Syria and Iran. And rightly so. He wonders how often history must repeat before we learn its lessons:
. . . with totalitarian regimes like those in Iran and Syria, the effect of such "conversations" is usually negative. It buys time and legitimacy for the totalitarians, while deepening their conviction that the West has no stomach for a fight. No one was more pleased with Chamberlain's diplomacy than Hitler, for it proved that Germany was in the saddle, riding the democracies -- that the momentum was with Berlin, while London and Paris were flailing. The Baker panel's recommendations will bring similar satisfaction to Tehran and Damascus.
This is entirely too true. FDR's kowtowing to Stalin at Yalta did nothing for the US, consigned generations of Eastern Europeans to decades of totalitarian rule and inflated the prestige of the Soviet Union.
Simply stated, we need a present day Churchill who can understand the importance of the choice between War and Shame, and the consequences of the wrong selection.