The newest sanctions against Iran remind me of another series of sanctions against Iraq. We know how those Iraqi sanctions worked. This also remind me of another time when people thought if they kept talking with the despots they could avert conflict because the last shooting match was literally bloody terrible.
I speak of the scars and fears induced by World War I. When England lost 600,000 on the Somme. Then Gallipoli. And the French being equally winnowed. The thought of war became akin to grasping a hot skillet without a mitt on. So instead at the League of Nations and in other forums England and France talked and talked while the likes of Mussolini and Hitler portrayed such talk as signs of weakness.
Mussolinni rose to power in a sick Italy. He made many promises, among them restoring the glory that was Rome to Italy. So he invaded Ethiopia in Africa and proceeded to conquer the poor country. When the King of Ethiopia appeared before the League of Nations to plea to this body that was supposed to end conflicts, his pleas were heard and nothing done. The days of considering the League as of any importance became numbered then.
So when Chancellor Adolph Hitler broke the Versailles Treaty that started Germany on the road to military re-armament, what was the reaction of other countries? More talk. Austria was absorbed in the Anschluss and all the West did was talk more to Hitler. Then the Sudetenland demands came, it was given to Herr Hitler and the Czechs lost faith in the West. Then the rest of the Czech populace was taken into the new German Third Reich. While Chamberlain talked of 'peace in our times' Hitler and his minions were building to their next conquest. Even though England and France promised to some to Poland's aid if Germany attacked, by now the word of these two countries was extremely suspect. So Hitler, believing he would only get more words from England and France while having a deal with the USSR, invaded Poland. That was the official start of World War II. The French invaded the Rhur and the German generals got nervous since all German forces were in Poland, but Hitler laughed and predicted the French would pull back. And Hitler was right. So six months later France fell to the German forces that had transferred in from the Polish campaign. When this conflict ended, large swathes of Europe were piles of rubble and tens of millions lay dead, including almost 12 million in Nazi concentration camps.
It seems we are on the precipice of another global conflict, this time with a nuclear Iran bent on controlling all around it. One conflict that could have been ended in earlier stages if the international community could have countenance such abhorrent idea as a muscular diplomacy that involved striking at Iran with military forces. Instead we see IAEA reports Iran may have enough nuclear material for two atomic weapons. And still too many in the West believe they can talk Iran out of snuggling up to a nuclear teddy-bear while ignoring lessons brutish dictators of not 100 years ago taught. Titlting at windmills never seemed more dangerous.