History has the power to educate if one is willing to learn. Hitler increased the size of Germany by the Anschluss with Austria in August 1938. Immediately thereafter he began to claim that German citizens residing in the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia needed his protection.
The premier of England, Neville Chamberlain, became infamous by caving in to Hitler, claiming he gained peace. Not being confronted, Hitler invaded Poland thereafter, beginning the Second World War, with the greatest holocaust and devastation ever inflicted upon the world.
Jimmy Carter played a coward’s game when the Iranians seized Americans within the U.S. embassy in Tehran. His lack of courage determined that Americans would not re-elect him. Reagan stood tall when confronted by Russian aggression.
Vladimir Putin is a KGB thug whom the Russians apparently accept as a “strongman” and believe should remain president. The world has witnessed the abuses Putin has perpetrated upon his opponents, the corruption he has encouraged and the naked aggression he favors, as witnessed in Georgia in 2008 and now in the Crimea. Putin clearly believes no nation will have the courage to do anything other than mouth off about it. Putin and Russia lost nothing for the invasion of Georgia.
The answer is simple, as everyone who has confronted a bully knows: Stand up and fight back or pay a higher price when the bully is given carte blanche. The price for not taking on Hitler in 1938 was over 20 million deaths. The cost to America’s standing in the world when Carter hid within the White House is the Iranian nuclear program.
This is one time that Obama must step forward. Quiet diplomacy will only result in Russia laughing and our enemies in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere knowing they have nothing to fear. By simply not attending the G8 in Sochi, Obama will earn American dismay and scorn.