In his Sept. 22 op-ed column, “When isolationism ruled,” George F. Will compared the American public’s reluctance today to start a war with Syria over its use of chemical weapons with its pre-World War II isolationism. A more accurate comparison would have been with the 1938 Munich Agreement that the European democracies struck with Hitler’s Germany.

In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain negotiated the agreement, which appeased Hitler and was supposed to result in “peace in our time.” The Munich Agreement was wildly popular in Europe, but it was denounced by Winston Churchill. Hitler ignored the agreement a year later and started World War II.

President Obama’s decision not to engage in a small-scale military conflict with Syria has been popular with the supposedly war-weary U.S. electorate. However, there is zero chance that a mass murderer such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will actually dispose of his nation’s chemical weapons. These weapons will haunt the free world for years to come.

Lee Hurwitz, Rockville