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Time to think more about Sarajevo, less about Munich
As in the years before 1914 — when a rising Germany confronted its neighbours — a rising China now is in dispute with several Asian nations
By Gideon Rachman
January 7, 2014

2014.01.08(水) Financial Times

Can thinking about the past improve the way you handle the present? If so, this year’s centenary of the outbreak of the First World War could do the world a great service by persuading modern politicians to spend more time thinking about Sarajevo — and less time worrying about Munich.

過去について考えることで現在への対処の仕方が改善されるということはあり得るのだろうか? もしあり得るのなら、今年が第1次世界大戦の勃発から100年目に当たることは、現代の政治家たちがミュンヘンを心配する時間を減らしてサラエボについて考える時間を増やすよう促し、ひいては今日の世界に大きく貢献してくれるかもしれない。

“Sarajevo” and “Munich” are, of course, shorthand for the diplomatic crises that preceded the outbreaks of the First and Second World Wars. Yet, the two events have been used to support very different approaches to international affairs. If leaders warn against “another Munich”, they are almost always advocating a tough response to aggression — usually military action. If they speak of “Sarajevo”, however, they are warning against a drift to war.




The British and the French are generally believed to have made a terrible mistake, which led to a wider war, by failing to confront Hitler during the Munich crisis of 1938. By contrast, most historians look back at the events provoked by the assassination of an Austrian archduke in Sarajevo in the summer of 1914 and are horrified by how heedlessly Europe slipped into war. Margaret Macmillan, author of a compelling new account of the outbreak of conflict, The War that Ended Peace, laments that — “none of the key players in 1914 were great and imaginative leaders who had the courage to stand out against the pressures building for war”.



 例えば、第1次世界大戦の勃発を取り上げた説得力のある新著『The War that Ended Peace(平和に終止符を打った戦争)』を発表したマーガレット・マクミラン氏は「1914年当時の重要人物の中には、戦争に踏み切れという圧力の前に立ちはだかる勇気を持った、偉大で想像力に富んだ指導者が1人もいなかった」と嘆いている。

ミュンヘン=チェンバレン=宥和政策というのは以前のブログで紹介させていただきました。Peace in our timeのスピーチです。

Neville Chamberlain
a British Conservative prime minister (1937–40) and son of Joseph Chamberlain. He is mainly remembered for his policy of appeasement. He signed the Munich Agreement in 1938, trying to avoid a war against Germany and Italy, but said that Britain would defend Poland if Germany attacked it. This led to the start of World War II. He left the government soon after Britain entered the war, when British forces were defeated in Norway.
This is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.
Neville Chamberlain, September 1938




サラエボの教訓については、以下のコラムでThe lesson of Sarajevo is that war has a host of consequences that no one can foresee.と簡潔にまとめてくれています。誰もがすぐに終るだろうと思って開戦してみたら未曾有の損害を出す結果になってしまったのが第一次世界大戦と捉えています。

Sarajevo, not Munich
By Arthur J. Greif, Special to the BDN
This story was published on March 05, 2003 on Page A9 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

This “war at any price” mentality of Bush does have a 20th-century analogue: the reaction of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, by terrorists seeking to promote a greater Serbia. Wounded by the loss of a much-loved heir to the empire’s throne, Austria, with Germany’s support, forwarded a list of stringent demands upon Serbia that no nation could have agreed to in its entirety. Serbia conceded much of what Austria demanded. Austria invaded anyway and, despite punishing Serbia, it set loose a cascade of events that led to a destruction from which Europe did not fully recover for more than 70 years. Millions of the world’s best young men died in trench warfare; chemical weapons were used repeatedly for the first time; a war that the United States later joined to “make the world safe for democracy” made it safe for the rise of fascism, Nazism and communism.
The lesson of Sarajevo is that war has a host of consequences that no one can foresee. When a weaker adversary repeatedly accedes to most of your demands, think twice before insisting upon 100 percent capitulation. The risks of war will far outweigh the benefits. We should shudder at what the winds of war will set loose both in the Islamic world and in a Western world beset by terrorism whose numbers of recruits will have doubled.


Look to Sarajevo, Not Munich
By Marcus Alexander Gadson | Sunday, June 8, 2008

My larger problem is that too many conservatives want to make every foreign policy issue into 1938 at Munich. Any leader who talks tough and rattles his saber becomes Winston Churchill. Any adversary becomes Adolf Hitler. And everyone who urges any sort of diplomacy is suddenly Neville Chamberlain. But the foreign policy challenges we face today are much more reminiscent of the years before World War One than they are of the years before World War Two.
Prior to the First World War, there were many great world powers. Britain, France, Germany, and Russia all jockeyed for global hegemony and influence. As militarism and nationalism dominated the European continent, career diplomats knew that the slightest misstep could lead to war. That misstep came on June 28, 1914, when Gavrilo Princip shot the archduke of Austria-Hungary, Franz Ferdinand. This triggered a now infamous chain of events. Austria-Hungary, backed by Germany, issued an extreme ultimatum which the Serbs rejected. Austria-Hungary promptly declared war. Russia rushed to the defense of Serbia, and Germany declared war on Russia. France and Britain were rapidly brought into the war.
The First World War would last for over four years and leave millions dead. Indirectly, it also caused the Second World War, which left millions more dead. If anything, this demonstrates the paramount importance of active diplomacy. What if European powers had engaged in more diplomacy, instead of going to war as a knee-jerk reaction? Foreign policy hawks don’t want to cause world chaos, but it is instructive for them—and for us—to remember that our actions can have dramatic consequences.


In 1914, national leaders were so keen to appear strong and to protect their honour (or “credibility” as they would call it nowadays), that they were unable to step back from the brink of conflict. Reflection on the Sarajevo crisis may just prevent today’s leaders from falling into the same trap, if Sino-Japanese tensions heighten again. But, unfortunately, many of today’s political players still approach their rivalries with a Munich mindset. Neither Japan nor China is prepared to look “weak” by backing off in the East China Sea. The US is also worried that its “credibility” will be damaged, if it fails to show toughness. A prominent official in the Barack Obama administration explained to me last year that — while he understood Chinese objections to US naval patrols near China’s coast — America could not cut back these patrols because that would be seen as weakness.




This is the kind of playground logic that four-year-old children are encouraged to grow out of. But, unfortunately, it still seems to be the dominant mode of thinking in international affairs.



The Munich mindset is so entrenched that a real intellectual shift will be required to change it. The many commemorations of the First World War that will take place this year may just serve that purpose — by influencing world leaders to take a less dangerously macho approach to their rivalries. With tensions rising in East Asia and conflict spreading in the Middle East, the 100th anniversary of the Great War comes at an important time. Let’s hope it does some good.




The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.