President Trump announced last week that he is going to de-certify the Iran nuclear deal. This comes on the heels of President Trump continuing to talk tough against North Korea for its continuing pursuit of nuclear weapons and test firing missiles. After listening to Trump’s speech to the UN recently there can be no doubt that he is not afraid to talk tough against our enemies.
Trump’s tough talk is not liked by everyone though. Many are coming out and calling Trump a warmonger who is going to bring about a nuclear holocaust. Senator Bob Corker recently said that he is on the path to starting WWIII. So it this true? Is Trump really just a warmonger?
Back in 1938 there was another statesman who was also called a warmonger. When the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from the Munich accords in 1938, he and everyone were declaring “peace in our time.” The accords basically allowed Hitler’s Germany to annex part of Czechoslovakia. Most thought this was the only move to prevent war. Appeasement to Hitler’s demands was the only answer. He couldn’t possibly want anything else right? Well there was one statesman who didn’t think so. He had been warning about the dangers of appeasing to Hitler for years and no one in power would listen. Here was part of his speech to Parliament right after the Munich agreement.
“We are in the presence of a disaster of the first magnitude... Do not let us blind our-selves to that. It must now be accepted that all the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will make the best terms they can with the triumphant Nazi Power...
If the Nazi dictator should choose to look westward, as he may, bitterly will France and England regret the loss of that fine army of ancient Bohemia [Czechoslovakia] which was estimated last week to require not fewer than 30 German divisions for its destruction...
...Many people, no doubt, honestly believe that they are only giving away the interests of Czechoslovakia, whereas I fear we shall find that we have deeply compromised, and perhaps fatally endangered, the safety and even the in-dependence of Great Britain and France...There can never be friendship between the British democracy and the Nazi Power, that Power cannot ever be the trusted friend of the British democracy...
...Our loyal, brave people... should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies:
Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.
And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning.”
That man was called a warmonger and worse for these words. People couldn’t believe that he was not supportive of “peace.” That man was Winston Churchill. As you know he was eventually proven right. Unfortunately they didn’t listen to him until it was too late, but he would become Prime Minister and lead the war effort against Nazi Germany.
A few decades later another world leader would come out talking tough against the enemy. During the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, many thought nice talk and appeasement were the only way to deal with the communist nation. One person thought differently and shocked the world with one speech. Here is the part that many thought would start a nuclear war.
“And this brings me to my final point today. During my first press conference as President, in answer to a direct question, I pointed out that, as good Marxist-Leninists, the Soviet leaders have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is that which will further their cause, which is world revolution.... Well, I think the refusal of many influential people to accept this elementary fact of Soviet doctrine illustrates an historical reluctance to see totalitarian powers for what they are....
Yes, let us pray for the salvation of all of those who live in that totalitarian darkness—pray they will discover the joy of knowing God. But until they do, let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination of all peoples on the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world....
So, in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals, I urge you to beware the temptation of pride—the temptation of blithely declaring yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil....
I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written. I believe this because the source of our strength in the quest for human freedom is not material, but spiritual. And because it knows no limitation, it must terrify and ultimately triumph over those who would enslave their fellow man.”
For calling them an “evil empire” that world leader was also accused of being a warmonger. For wanting to build up the military to show strength against the enemy he was accused of taking the U.S. towards war. That world leader was President Ronald Reagan and all of those dire predictions did not come to pass. In fact, the opposite would eventually come to fruition. The evil empire would collapse.
Neither Winston Churchill nor Ronald Reagan wanted war. They were not against diplomacy or negotiation. All of their tough words against the evil in the world were to prevent that evil from dominating and spreading. They understood that sometimes peace doesn’t come through appeasement, but through a position of strength, including speaking up and standing up against the enemies of freedom.
History will ultimately be the judge on Trump’s stance against North Korea and Iran. I’m not necessarily saying he is as eloquent in speaking strength as Reagan and Churchill, but don’t expect me to be upset when he talks tough against our enemies.
Photo credit: Clay Gilliland from Chandler, U.S.A.