Skip to comments.Churchill was an extremist: In praise of standing your ground for what you know is right.
Posted on 11/27/2012 5:52:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Winston Churchill has his fans on the left. President John F. Kennedy, who was fascinated by his writings, bestowed upon him honorary US citizenship. Churchill was the second person, after the Marquis de Lafayette, to be so honored. Delivering the keynote address honoring the 60th anniversary of Churchills Iron Curtain speech, admirer Chris Matthews said, Where other politicians cling to office, he acted as if he were truly prepared to fling it away, to risk popular rejection, which came to him on so many cruel occasions . . . He didnt worry what his critics thought.
The liberal mind is right to revere Churchill for standing up against Hitler when so many in Britain were ready to cave. But as the third and final volume of William Manchesters magnificent biography The Last Lion (completed by the authors friend Paul Reid after Manchesters 2004 death) makes clear, it was anything but certain at the time that Churchill was making the right call. And at a moment when there is so much chatter about bipartisanship and working with the other side, its worth remembering this essential fact: Churchill was an extremist.
WWII was practically over shortly after Churchill took over as Prime Minister in May 1940. The British Army was nearly destroyed during the fall of France, and the remaining soldiers were forced to throw down their weapons and retreat home from Dunkirk with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
It was obvious to many patriots that it was time to strike some sort of deal with Hitler.
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No one wold vote for Churchill in the western world today.
Consider what he said:
If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground, Churchill declared.
Fight to the death of the last man, woman and child? Could he have meant it? Yes, and when the Japanese seized Singapore, Churchill ordered every British soldier to die rather than surrender: There must at this stage be no thought of saving the troops or sparing the population . . . Commanders and senior officers should die with their troops, he wrote in a telegram that was countermanded on the ground.
He gave a similar die-for-your-country directive to Hong Kong. And in the event of a German invasion, Churchill approved drenching the beaches with mustard gas, without waiting for the enemy to use it first.
The great man himself frequently vowed never to be taken alive and carried cyanide in the cap of his fountain pen.
He said 1940 was a year equally good to live or die and later looked back on it as the most splendid, as it was the most deadly year in our long British and English story.
To paraphrase Churchill himself: Never was so much owed by so many to just one.
David Lloyd George may have been right. The fact is, going to war against Hitler was not in the British national interest. Hitler didn’t want to fight Britain and saw his main enemy as the USSR, and long held out hope that Britain would eventually ally with him to fight the Communists who had long been common enemies.
As it happened, Britain was ruined by fighting the Nazis and ended up having to contend with a turbo-boosted Soviet Union. And the original goal of liberating Poland was not realised. Britain might well have been better off making peace and sitting on the sidelines munching popcorn whilst Watching the Nazis and the Communists slug it out indefinitely.
RE: Britain might well have been better off making peace and sitting on the sidelines munching popcorn whilst Watching the Nazis and the Communists slug it out indefinitely
You mean to say Hitler had absolutely no interest in conquering Britain at all?
RE: They wouldn’t vote for him in Britain in 1945.
Well, as the article says:
“The habit of taking things out of proportion would cost him. Immediately after the war ended, he was bounced from office in a landslide by the voters who were eager to implement socialism. Churchill declared that socialism would necessitate some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.
But then, Churchill was re-elected Prime Minister in 1951. Which gives me some hope that like the British then, America might come to her senses a few years from now.
Britain has NEVER recovered from the effects of the post-war socialist government. The economic surges and the readjustment of the Thatcher years have only slowed the decline - not stopped it. The current 'Tory' PM - Cameron - is a joke. He would pass for a socialist any day, and if he made even the slightest move to reduce the 'Free Stuff', he would be gone in a heartbeat.
No, not really. He made clear in Mein Kampf that he had great admiration for Britain and its Empire. He was furious and disappointed when he found himself at war with Britain over Poland. He might have wanted a war with France in the long-term because of Alscace and Lorraine, but he had no particular beef with Britain.
Britain could have sat this out to its own advantage, but didn’t. It is debateable how advantageous it was for the world to defeat Hitler, considering how evil Stalin was, and how many people were murdered in the name of Communism, the scale of which dwarfed the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust by a considerable margin.