Mark – The Seattle Times’ Bruce Ramsay will see you and raise you. He says Hitler’s demands were not unreasonable.
I should add, however, that Ramsay’s blog post (which has generated ample controversy) doesn’t offend me in the way it does others. I think Ramsay’s wrong on the history, and I’m somewhat flummoxed by what he’s trying to demonstrate. But the real problem, it seems to me, with this sort of thing is that it works on the assumption that so long as certain maniacs make “reasonable” demands they should be placated. In the early 1930s, Hitler was widely seen as a “man of peace” on the international stage and many useful idiots treated him as such. But that doesn’t mean he was a man of peace. Similarly, even if Hitler was making a “reasonable” demand in 1938, that hardly means he should have been treated as a reasonable man. Let’s say that Hitler’s demands in 1938 were “reasonable” as Ramsay says they were (the case can certainly be made that Chamberlain has been given something of a bad rap). That hardly means the U.S. would have been right to placate Hitler. Burnishing the esteem and stature of Hitler (or Ahmadinejad, Hussein, Hamas et al) is not wise because it gives them more latitude to pursue the unreasonable and, ultimately, the evil.
Update: Apparently, the original post was edited.