On a plane to New York this week, I watched the movie Darkest Hour for the second time. If it packed a punch the first time, on second showing it seemed even more apposite to our current nail-biting era.
The movie is about the traumatic period in May 1940 when, as the Nazis swept across Europe, Britain was staring at the prospect of defeat and invasion.
Darkest Hour points out the catastrophic error of trying to negotiate with a regime whose agenda brooks no compromise.
Britain didn’t acknowledge this until it was almost too late. It was so much easier to believe in a negotiated peace. Winston Churchill alone understood this would mean annihilation and slavery, and so there was no choice but for the nation to muster its courage and fight to the death if need be.
The relevance of this to our current concerns is all too obvious. Two terrible regimes, Iran and North Korea, present an unconscionable threat to the world. Years of Western appeasement have allowed both of them to accrue to themselves terrifying power.
Now President Trump is threatening to tear up the catastrophic Iran nuclear deal and reimpose stringent sanctions.
Britain and Europe, however, want to continue appeasing Iran, deluding themselves that the nuclear deal has neutralized the threat it poses and perversely regarding President Trump rather than the Iranian regime as the problem.