One of the chief proponents for increasing U.S. force levels in Afghanistan argued on Thursday that to pursue any lesser strategy would be the equivalent of appeasing a theoretical rebirth of Nazism in the aftermath of World War II.
Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), one of Congress' most hawkish members, made the odd historical analogy during an interview with Fox News' Neil Cavuto. Urging President Barack Obama to follow the advice of his military commanders on the ground - who have called for an additional 40,000 U.S. troops -- the Independent-Democrat dismissed the notion that there was any parallel between the Afghan war (now in its eight year) and Vietnam.
"Unlike Vietnam," said Lieberman. "Afghanistan is a place from which America was attacked on 9/11. And if we pull out or try a strategy that doesn't work, those who attacked us will regain that country. That is unthinkable."
"It's more like, and I hate to use the analogy, it is like the Second World War," he went on. "Shortly after it was over, if the Nazis began to form again and tried to take back Germany from a new democratic government, what would we have done? We would not have stood by and let it happen!"
In politics, the general rule is to stay away from Nazi analogies, even those based on a dark historical hypothetical. But this isn't the first time that the neoconservative crowd has raised the specter of appeasement to pressure Obama. In the months before the election, then-President Bush appeared before the Israeli Parliament and subtly accused the then-candidate of embracing the "false comfort of appeasement" when it came to terrorism or rogue regimes.