Surprise! The diplomatic initiative to end violence in Syria has failed. Once again, as it has happened time after time throughout the pages of history, attempting to subdue a murderous, tyrannical enemy using solely diplomatic means has come up short. So this is my question: When the hell is the lesson going to be learned?

The foreign policies of the current administration bare a disturbing resemblance to policies that many European countries used during the interwar period to combat the rise of Hitler.  The shadow of World War I was not easy for most Europeans to overcome. Pacifism, as a way to avoid any and all future wars, became a very appealing ideology. With poor enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was easily defying the Treaty’s regulations and was rebuilding its military to an almost pre-war level. As Germany’s aggression became more and more obvious, England and many other European countries seemed to be blind to it and, rather than combating the increasing aggression, decided to drastically disarm their own militaries (sound familiar?) with the goal of everlasting world peace.

This was just the beginning. Hitler’s obvious aggression continued. The first test came when Hitler once again defied the Treaty of Versailles by sending approximately 36,000 German troops into the Rhineland in 1936. The Germans confronted 76 French divisions and 21 Belgian divisions, a force that could have easily defeated the German troops. We of course now know that Hitler was bluffing, and even admitted himself that his troops would have had to “withdraw with our tails between our legs” if the French and Belgian forces had shown any resistance.

This must be the end! Surely the leaders of the free world would recognize Hitler’s bad intentions and intervene militarily, right? Wrong. The trend carried on. Disguised as a form of vengeance for the maltreatment of Sudeten Germans, Hitler ordered the leader of the Sudeten German Party to propose unrealistic demands to the government of Czechoslovakia. When the Czechs refused to hear such demands because of their utter ridiculousness, Hitler had sufficient (at least what he saw as sufficient) pretext for invading the country which, oh by the way, was his goal from the beginning.

Okay, this is getting ridiculous. England, France, and the other European powers must have recognized that Hitler’s intentions were not as innocent as they seemed, right? Wrong again. Both France and England begged the Czechs to appease the Germans and give in to their demands as a way to avoid an invasion as well as any and all militaristic conflict, continuing on their road to international peace. The “minority problem of Czechoslovakia,” as it was called by Neville Chamberlain’s foreign minister, was simply not worth perverting the “peaceful” European scene by getting the military involved. When the Czechs could no longer comply with the ridiculous German demands, Czechoslovakia was deemed the enemy, bullying poor Germany who wanted nothing more than the dignity of their precious Sudeten Germans. The English and French literally abandoned all responsibility they had for defending the Czechs out of fear of conflict. For the leaders of the day, diplomatic means, no matter how ineffective, were the only option when dealing with Hitler.

It simultaneously infuriates and confuses me when I see the current administration acting in a similar appeasing way. It’s infuriating because I know our great nation possesses the capability that should make appeasement unnecessary, and confusing because our gangster government at home turns into a pansy government abroad.

“Wait a minute!” the enraged, terribly misinformed liberal may argue, “how can you possibly say we have a pansy government abroad? Obama took out Bin Laden!” It was the heroic Navy SEALs that took out Bin Laden, not Obama. And to say that any other president would not have done the same when given the opportunity to kill the infamous terrorist is simply idiotic. The SEALs themselves even criticize Obama on his usual ways of directing all the praise onto himself. He uses the killing of Bin Laden as nothing more than a vote snatcher.

Does anyone remember when Iran captured an American RQ-170 Stealth drone and displayed it to the world so triumphantly? However it happened, Iran was in possession of one of our most technologically advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). How did Obama respond when given a number of different options to get the UAV out of Iran’s hands? By doing nothing. Naturally, Obama did not want Iran to view any militaristic involvement in the incident as an act of war. That sounds eerily similar to the fear of conflict displayed by the Europeans.

What about when our president so graciously advised that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders? As did the English when dealing with impending German demands on Czechoslovakia, Obama was asking Israel to negotiate with the very people who wish to take them over and in this specific case, deny their very right to exist. Al-Aqsa TV, the official Hamas run television channel directed by a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, brings back horrible memories of the indoctrination of the Hitler Youth through television shows such as “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” in which Farfur (a literal clone of Mickey Mouse) teaches Palestinian children to, simply put, hate Jews and hate America. The last episode of the show portrays Farfur being “martyred” in defense of his land against the infiltrating Jews. This is the party with whom Obama wishes Netanyahu to negotiate. Hitler was seeking negotiation with the Czechs as a prelude to his invasion. With even the slightest knowledge of history, how could our president consider asking Israel to carry out similar negotiations? (On a slightly less serious note, does anyone else think that they’re gonna get nightmares from that damn mouse?)

Syria seems to be the cherry-on-top of this presidential term. Our very own Secretary of Defense believes that without international permission, the United States military should not act. The previously mentioned diplomatic initiative is failing and the death toll continues to rise. The United States is standing idly by as a growing number of jihadists enter Syria from neighboring countries to wage war against Assad, which sprouts the possibility of a post-Assad Syria being led by Islamic extremists and lasting enemies of both the United States and Israel.

“World peace” is a very catchy expression to use during a campaign. I would not doubt that winning the upcoming election is the motive behind the Obama administration’s internationalist ideals. Whatever the motive, it is now a fact that President Obama has turned America into a gutless, internationalist nation that would rather attempt (and fail) to solve problems diplomatically when military usage seems completely necessary. With military intervention in the defense of either the Rhineland or Czechoslovakia, who knows what further damage could have been avoided. We study history for a reason. It provides us with clear examples of what not to do. Perhaps military intervention in Iran, sooner rather than later, can stop them on their quest for nuclear weapons and avoid unimaginable disaster. But that is another article all together.

Don’t get me wrong, war is obviously something that should be avoided, but avoided to reasonable extent. I hate seeing those imbeciles drive around in their eco-friendly Honda Priuses with bumper stickers exclaiming that “war is not the answer” in an attempt to secure some type of superior morality that is unknown to the rest of the warmongering population. The fact is that sometimes war is the answer. Sometimes armed conflict can solve a problem that diplomatic sanctions and boards simply cannot. Sometimes armed conflict can put a stop to disaster before it escalates into something unmanageable.  The sooner our president realizes this, the better.

Daniel Pellegrino | Gettysburg College | Gettysburg, Pennsylvania | @DannPellegrino