Skip to comments.Why Winston Wouldn't Stand For W
Posted on 07/02/2007 9:16:18 AM PDT by steve-b
...I've spent a great deal of time thinking about Churchill while working on my book "Troublesome Young Men," a history of the small group of Conservative members of Parliament who defied British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler, forced Chamberlain to resign in May 1940 and helped make Churchill his successor. I thought my audience would be largely limited to World War II buffs, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the president has been reading my book. He hasn't let me know what he thinks about it, but it's a safe bet that he's identifying with the book's portrayal of Churchill, not Chamberlain. But I think Bush's hero would be bemused, to say the least, by the president's wrapping himself in the Churchillian cloak. Indeed, the more you understand the historical record, the more the parallels leap out -- but they're between Bush and Chamberlain, not Bush and Churchill....
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
The meeting with Putin the other day reminded me of- “Peace in our time!”.
I’d say the author doesn’t know her subject matter very well, or does and objects to who won WWII.
Total distortion of history w.r.t. Bush's efforts, and personally I would think that Churchill would not have gone it alone if he needed to, rather than roll over at Hitler's aggression.
Bush could have been a Great President.
Would you rather him NOT talk with the leader of Russia???
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Churchill actually go it alone against Hitler for a time prior to America’s entry into WWII?
The United States/FDR’s reluctance to enter the war did NOT stop Churchill from fighting Nazi Germany.
And Hitler wasn’t buying off the US with under the table deals.
A poor article. It's basically a twist on the "WOT is not really serious, it's just a bumper sticker" argument, and basically trying to marshal Churchill on the same side of the debate with Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Edwards. Not buying.
Only one similar paralell vis-a-vis Bush and Winnie:
Churchill understood, like a great many of his contemporaries did not, that there was no accomodation with Nazism to be made (none that was desireable, in any case), and so, he determined the only course of action available to him; resistance. Bush has reached (almost) the same conclusion vis-a-vis radical Islam.
The major difference, of course, is that Bush has made the mistake of not understanding that the way to peace with the Islamic world is a systematic destruction of the Islamic system and world view, making it apparent that it is bankrupt morally, socially, economically, politically, but to attempt to “save” it with enlightened reason, “democracy” and charity.
Churchill did not fall into that trap: he realized that Nazism could only be completely discredited and overcome by abject defeat, which entailed the total destruction of Germany. The Nazis would have held on forever if the German people had not been reduced to an existance of incredible suffering, and the same is true of Islamic fundamentalism.
Until people are drinking puddle water and picking undigested oats from horse dung for susentance, they will not begin to question the fundamental viability of their current system. Without that impetus, they will never make the great mental leap (and then muster the physical courage required) to change their circumstances, and perhaps, put their energies and devotion into something far more peaceful and productive.
Just my $0.02
Michael Moore, who says, " There is no terrorist threat."
Or Ward Churchill, who says the victimes of 9/11 were "little Hitlers."
For one year Churchill not only fought Hitler alone but also had to contend with a large group of appeasers and communists in England who wanted to throw in the towel.
I wanted to buy this when I saw it in a book store a few months ago, but I already had 3 in hand (I still have over 2 dozen unopened books to read).
Now seeing the replies on here, I’m hesitant to buy it now.
1. The oil-for-food program was corrupt
2. The weapons inspections were a farce
3. US and allied planes were targeted
4. Uninspected flights to Baghdad gutted the sanctions
5. Terrorists were training in Iraq
6. Saddam supported terrorism - $25,000 to each family of a suicide bomber (Thanks, Prost1).
7. Saddam brutalized our fellow human beings
Saddam was thumbing his nose at decent people as he rewarded his collaborators.
Bush interrupted Saddam's staging of a comeback.
Stupid claim 1: That Bush is like Chamberlain because he was inexperienced with foreign policy and Churchill was experienced.
Reality: Churchill's only "foreign policy" experience was dealing with colonial administrators of his own government. He was not a foreign policy expert.
Stupid claim 2: That Bush and Chamberlain were surrounded by like-minded advisers and do not heed outside advice.
Reality: Churchill kept his own counsel and did not take advice from outside sources - he did not brook contradiction.
Stupid claim 3: That Bush and Chamberlain believed in "going it alone" while Churchill was a coalition-builder.
Reality: Both Bush and Churchill appealed to the UN/League Of Nations and attempted to build a consensus for their initiatives.
Stupid claim 4: That Bush and Chamberlain "evaded the checks and balances of government", while Churchill "revered Parliament."
Reality: Bush has been criticized by many for almost never vetoing a Congressional bill, and Churchill was widely criticized by parliament for his far-reaching wartime measures.
Stupid claim 5: That Bush and Chamberlain eroded civil liberties while Churchill defended them.
Reality: the PATRIOT Act is mealymouthed compared to Roosevelt's war measures and Churchill - as the article even admits - interned 20,000 UK residents indefinitely without trial.
Here we have the writing of a pseudohistorian afflicted with BDS who is trying desperately to disassociate Churchill from Bush because she likes Churchill.
This column is historically false and full of unwarranted assumptions. In short, its rubbish.
I think you are absolutely right. We have terrible things to come, I wonder if we have to guts to prevail.
Who is Putin visiting with the President or his son "W" ?
As you know, Bush wasn’t in favor of going it alone.
A better analogy would be Churchill refusing to fight Hitler if he couldn’t get everybody in Europe to agree.
Which make the entire basis of this story, and its writer look completely rediculous. In fact, Churchill said he would go it alone if he had to!
Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
The Post had another hit piece on Bush on page 1 today. By contrast, it ran its story on the arrests in the attempted bombings in Britain on page 15. The Post’s priorities and leanings are pretty clear.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property-either as a child, a wife, or a concubine-must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proseltyzing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science-the science against which it had vainly struggled-the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
Apparently, her dedication to her subject kept her from allowing her current political leanings to overwhelm the actual history to any large extend. That defense being authored, I have read other accounts that more kindly portray the desire of the young rebel conservatives and the British nation, at large, to have Churchill as the vehicle to right the ship's course.
This article makes it appear that she is a Churchill "fan" which is hardly the case.
Churchill and Bush do bear so interesting similarities of character, both descending from a famous father with whom they were distant during their youths, and both being very bull-headed and obstinate about a change of course once they had set their hearts on a plan.
I think the biggest problems in this regard, Aria, is that somewhere along the lines, we have forgotten that war is intended to break things and kill folks in order to preserve, and advance, our own fundamental values and culture, and replace or eliminate those ideas and cultures we find objectionable.
Somehow, the military that “leanred the lessons of Vietnam” is repeating the same mistakes of that war.
Somehow, the fallacious idea that “inside every _____ is an American dying to get out” which was prevalent during the Vietnam war, is alive and well today.
Certain assumptions have been made which experience is proving to be erroneously incorrect. In the process of “bringing democracy” to the Middle East, we have forgotten that democratic culture and experience are not to be found there. It’s not enough to “give” freedom to Iraqis, since they don’t know what it is, and what it’s good for. Purple fingers do not a democracy make. The only way of bringing democracy to these people is to show, in unmistakable terms, that everything they believe in and hold dear is WORTHLESS in every sense. Unfortunately, you can’t do that with econimic aid, political schemes and guarding the next generations of Saddams (the new Iraqi ‘government’) with American arms. We did that in Vietnam...and failed.
Churchill would have understood all of this perfectly, student of history that he was. Bush does not. History is repeating itself, right under our very noses, and alas, there is no new Churchill to save us from the process!
Against a great deal of pressure not to. Many in the British government were pushing for a conditional surrender.
i think history will be kinder to GWB than people suspect -- Harriet Miers, Katrina and the Immigration bill were major stumbles, but GWB IMHO correctly identified the threat from Islamic Jihad and did something about it where Clinton did not
one can in hindsight question the tactics and even the strategy, but the basic theme was right on in 2001 and remains so.
sadly GWB is playing high stakes poker with some pretty poor deals...
Easy to ignore the fact that Churchill lived in a different time.
Churchill reacted to his time in history - not to what leaders before him had done.
Bush reacts to his time in history.
A comparison is really worthless because the times are different, the men have different talents and the circumstances are different as well as the wars being different.
So, if Churchill was here today, he might well have done many of the things Bush has done. And, I doubt that he would have been any more popular.
Not only did Churchill “go it alone”, he did so with politcal pressure of all stripes (the commies and socialists changed their tune, however, when the Soviet Union was attacked), opportunistic nationalists (Indian, Egyptian, etc) seeking the dismantling of the British Empire(Indians eventually constituted the largest, national contingent of the British armed forces), and home-grown British Nazis (Mosley’s Blackshirts) tugging public opinion, and government attention, in various directions.
I think England declared war first then France.
Pat Buchannan, and more recently, Ron Paul, are the closest to being like Winston Churchill in our time.
This article is a mess, but it does make one think back to the days of Churchill. He was a flawed man, a magnificent man.
Orwell summed up this phenomenon beautifully in an essay entitled “The Lion and the Unicorn” (Or “England, Your England”). Even though it was written in 1940/41, it is still relevant to today’s world, and explains perfectly the motivations of socialists, communists, conservatives, ‘liberals’ and pacifists in the context of a national crisis.
Many of the motivations Orwell noted are still with us today. I find it a fascinating concept.
Just my opinion, but Bush has good instincts where terrorism is concerned, but his basic concerned inner man and Christian ideals conflict with what needs to be done. He needs a little more Old Testament in his backbone.
As our President, he needs to understand and stand up for our laws and Constitution without getting sidetracked with concern for the oppressed, since as a nation, we cannot take on all the poor of the world. If we give away that shining light on the hill of Reagan, then we join the darkness.
I am serious.
Although they are not of as high a stature as Churchill.
that is the worst part...
I recall that Churchill had studied Islam and deduced that it was a very difficult problem.
Islam even trumps natural instincts - like the Doctors the other day who were so intent on killing that being on fire didn’t apparently matter. I don’t think we’ll ever “get” the mindset established in Muslims - the submission, the lack of critical analysis of ideas and events, the lack of incentive to change for the better. You’re right, inside every Muslim is not an American dying to get out. We are so naive.
I just love the "Go it alone" analogy. Britain went it alone for over 2 years before Germany declared war on the US. The whole article was infantile; it was high school quality.
As someone who walked a way fromt he carnage of the World Trade Center, vaudine, I must disagree.
The enemy does not make distinctions between the “innocent” and the “guilty”, and neither should we.
The enemy does not play by any rules that can be considered “civilized”, and neither should we.
The enemy does not wish to bring enlightenment to the world, or to improve the human condition, it seeks to convert or enslave it in order to fufill the propohecy of Muhammed (the only reason Islam still exists as a viable force int he world).
I’m sorry, but when the initial demand of your enemy is “die or surrender”, and it refuses to make any other accomodation, then you have no compulsion or inclination to “wear the White hat”, as it were.
Islam (not just fundamentalist Islam) does not recognize the conventions of civilized society such as natural rights, rational thought or tolerance. It does not believe in a brighter future for mankind (inherant in the Judeo-Christian ethic is a belief that there is something to LOOK FORWARD to, i.e. the Savior will come (or return) and usher in universal peace. In Islam, universal peace only comes when it’s enemies are dead, converted or enslaved).
While I agree with you wholeheartedly that America must serve as a beacon to those who seek freedom, it does not stand to reason that we should make accomodation with concepts which insure that liberty will always be endangered. It’s a terrible moral dilemma, to be sure, but I would lean towards saving the system from an outside threat first and moralizing on it later on.
If we don’t, we won’t have the freedom to moralize at all.
Churchill was warning from the start of Nazi Germany when it was still very militarily weak (and was call a war monger for it)... the whole historical point of why appeasement was so bad is Nazi Germany was bluffing and exploiting the lack of will of the west till it was to late... the west could have strangled Nazi Germany with easy at it's birth and for severals years after and has every justification to do so for violating the term on the WW1 armistice
(Gee a bluffing dictator violating the terms of a peace treaty from a recent war---never heard of that before)
This persons point is so stupid... why did Churchill get the label "war monger" in the mid 30's... how was Churchill later famed for being the lone voice in the wilderness waring of the Nazi threat while European slept....if... Churchill only lobbied for war on Nazi Germany after war had started in 39 and had already conquered several countries before Churchill took office in 1940
Excellent analysis, wideawake.
Churchill saw Islamic culture and what it entailed close up: he was AT the Battle of Obdurman (sp?) in 1898, and noted the Islamic tendency to worship death and backwardness as virtuous.
I got the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that you thought Bush was handcuffed by his religious ideals.
Apologies if I misunderstood.
Against a great deal of pressure not to. Many in the
British American government were pushing for a conditional surrender.
See? Who needs historians when we have text editors...:)?
How the F--- do you come up with that one ... are you even aware that Germany did not want war with England and offer them peace after in started did not want the British Empire (in fact Hitler saw the British Empire and Germany as natural allies)... Germany was only interested in the Continent
In fact... Germany did not declare war or attack England first...