Home/Daniel Larison/An Even More Ridiculous Munich Comparison

An Even More Ridiculous Munich Comparison

Jonathan Tobin makes another ignorant Geneva/Munich comparison, and adds this bit of silliness to it:

But as bad as the Iran deal was, the real analogy to Munich is the way in which Obama and Kerry not only ignored the concerns of the nations endangered by an Iranian nuke—Israel and Saudi Arabia—but also excluded them from the negotiations. Like the Czechs who were told by Chamberlain that they had no choice but to accept the dismemberment of their country, Israel and the Saudis have been callously told they can either like the deal or lump it.

It might not seem possible to make an even more ridiculous comparison between the Iran deal and the Munich conference at this point, but Tobin has done it. The effect of Munich was to redraw international boundaries, deprive one state of part of is territory, and create the conditions for its eventual conquest. It was hardly the first time that Great Power diplomacy reached an agreement at the expense of a small nation, but it is one of the more egregious examples of it. Czechoslovakia had a very real and immediate stake in the major powers decided. Israel and Saudi Arabia have nothing comparable at stake in these talks, and it would be bizarre to think that either of them should be included.

Frankly, Israel and Saudi Arabia have no more stake in the negotiations with Iran than Turkey or Egypt or any other country in the region. Their objections have been loud, but that’s irrelevant. One might as well complain that Pakistan and Armenia were “excluded” from the negotiations. It is especially absurd to complain about Israel’s “exclusion” from these talks when it isn’t even party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. As a nuclear-armed state that doesn’t belong to the NPT, Israel has about as much business criticizing Iran’s compliance with the treaty as North Korea.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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