The conservative activist organization Citizens United is up on the air with a new ad that pushes a traditional trope: President Obama as the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain.
Titled "Stop Iran Now," the spot includes footage of the former British prime minister who famously appeased Adolf Hitler, implying that Obama is doing the same with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"If Barack Obama repeats the same mistakes today and Iran gets nuclear weapons, how many would suffer?" the ad goes.
The ad is airing nationally, a spokesperson for the group said. But the slots have been booked on Fox News -- suggesting that the group seeks to arouse conservative complaints about the president rather than persuade independents.
Still, the footage and message are remarkably direct and, in many respects, misleading. The Obama administration has just helped shepherd the toughest sanctions against Iran in United Nations history. The president has done little to suggest he is comfortable with Ahmadinejad's temperament or posturing (though Republicans would argue he could have more forcefully backed the uprising after the country's disputed elections last year). And when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the president on Tuesday, he went out of his way to compliment the White House's for its "unbreakable" bond with Israel.
All of this, by Citizens United's account, is comparable to pre-Holocaust appeasement.