Last year, President Obama assured the world that “we are living in the most peaceful, prosperous, and progressive era in human history,” and that “the world has never been less violent.”
Translated, those statements meant that active foreign-policy volcanoes in China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and the Middle East would probably not blow up on what little was left of Obama’s watch.
Obama is the U.S. version of Stanley Baldwin, the suave, three-time British prime minister of the 1920s and 1930s. Baldwin’s last tenure (1935–1937) coincided with the rapid rise of aggressive German, Italian, and Japanese Fascism.
Baldwin was a passionate spokesman for disarmament. He helped organize peace conferences. He tirelessly lectured on the need for pacifism. He basked in the praise of his good intentions.
Baldwin assured Fascists that he was not rearming Britain. Instead, he preached that the deadly new weapons of the 20th century made war so unthinkable that it would be almost impossible for it to break out.
Baldwin left office when the world was still relatively quiet. But his appeasement and pacifism had sown the seeds for a global conflagration soon to come.