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Jonah Goldberg’s Take on “Munich” January 4, 2006, 9:08 pm

Posted by quintapalus in Movie Reviews.

Definitely worth your time to read it all. It has the many trappings of a great article: historical reference galore and even an overarching Aesop’s Fable allusion.

— Ever since World War II, the German city of Munich has been symbolic of a single, solitary political lesson: the folly of “appeasement.” The 1938 Munich Pact represented the futility of compromising with evil. This was always a bit unfair to poor British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, who had better reasons to sign on to the pact than most people remember. But the moral of the story was a good one, going all the way back to Aesop, who told the fable of the scorpion and the frog, which ends with the frog being shocked that the scorpion would sting him even though the scorpion could do nothing else, for that was its nature.

Hitler was a scorpion, and thinking or hoping otherwise wouldn’t change that fact. Much of the Cold War was predicated on this lesson, as the World War II generation agreed not to let down its guard ever again.

Steven Spielberg would like to rewrite the meaning of Munich. In his film about the response to the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Spielberg seems determined to invest the word with a new meaning: We must not treat scorpions like scorpions.



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