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.
Obama, the Nobel peace laureate and former president, resembles Baldwin. Both seemed to believe
that war breaks out only because of misunderstandings that reflect honest differences. Therefore,
tensions between aggressors and their targets can be remedied by more talk, international agreements,
goodwill, and concessions.
Ideas such as strategic deterrence were apparently considered by both Baldwin and Obama to be
Neanderthal, judging from Baldwin’s naÏve efforts to ask Hitler not to rearm or annex territory,
and Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy and his pledge never to “do stupid sh**” abroad.
Aggressors clearly assumed that Obama’s assurances were green lights to further their own agendas
without consequences." Victor Davis Hanson