Churchill

WSC Before the Fact, Part 2

Featured image The other day I made note of Churchill’s description in a 1901 speech of what we would come to call “total war” in the 20th century.  In August 1911, around the time of the Agadir crisis and when he became First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill wrote a memo critiquing the existing view of the British and French general staffs that a German offensive into France could be easily beaten »

WSC Before the Fact, Part 1

Featured image While just about everyone caught up in Progressive-era optimism thought a general war in Europe was impossible—right up to this moment a hundred years ago—Churchill not only thought it possible, indeed likely, but anticipated its character.  From one of his early speeches in the House of Commons in May 1901: “A European war cannot be anything but a cruel, heartrending struggle, which, if we are ever to enjoy the bitter »

“The Dread Signal of Armageddon”

Featured image Today is the 100th anniversary of Gavrilo Princep’s assassination of the Archduke Francis Fertinand and his consort in Sarajevo, what Churchill called “the dread signal of Armageddon.”  We’re about to start a four-year palooza of commemorations of the signal episodes from the Great War, including lots of chin-stroking about whether something like it could happen again in the heart of Europe (or on the periphery, like, say, Ukraine).  I offered »

Strictly for Gluttons: The “Maymester” Lectures

Featured image Last month I presented three informal, non-credit evening lectures here at Boulder for the “Maymester” session, and a few of you (well, okay, one person, with initials T.O.) wondered whether they could be videotaped and posted here.  And so here they are–but only if you really have a lot of spare time on your hands, since each one is more than an hour long, and conducted in my somewhat stream-of-consciousness »

“Folly, fatuity, and futility”

Featured image In the editorial of the new Weekly Standard, Michael Makovsky and Bill Kristol seek to understand the frame of mind behind Obama’s deal with Iran. Winston Churchill provides the choral commentary: There’s an obvious comparison of Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who pursued a policy of appeasing Adolf Hitler, culminating in the Munich conference of 1938. There, Chamberlain and the French premier agreed to Hitler’s demand »

The Occasional Winston: The morrow of Munich

Featured image In the aftermath of the Munich Agreement Winston Churchill wrote in his November 17, 1938, column titled “The morrow of Munich,” at a time when he still occupied a backbench seat in Parliament: Mr. Chamberlain is convinced that all this will lead to general agreement; to the appeasement of the discontented Powers, and to a lasting peace. But all lies in the region of hope and speculation. A whole set »

The Occasional Winston: The Iran Deal

Featured image So President Obama is billing the agreement as a “first step” in confidence building with Iran.  Of course, “confidence building” is how con men trap their marks and empty their pockets.  And to be sure Obama is an easy mark.  Selling arms to Iran in the late 1980s to “build confidence” was how the Reagan administration nearly came undone.  I’ll let others parse the details of the deal (my old »

Reid Vapid Pressure Reaches New All Time High

Featured image I have written before about the “Reid Vapid Pressure” scale for the loathsome and egregious Senate Majority Leader, whose bottomless vapidity is always turned up to the highest end of the scale, suggesting that he had reached an all-time high.  Silly of me for thinking he couldn’t exceed himself. The latest exhibit of this titanic moron’s mediocrity came yesterday, when at the unveiling of the Winston Churchill bust in the »

Our Churchill

Featured image Dorothy Rabinowitz delivers the good news in today’s Wall Street Journal: In January of 1941, Winston Churchill dined at a Glasgow hotel with his physician, Sir Charles Wilson (later Lord Moran ), and his secretary of state for Scotland, Tom Johnston. The other member of the party was Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s redoubtable unofficial ambassador and the American president’s most trusted adviser. Hopkins had been sent to investigate and report »

Who Knew? The Who, That’s Who

Featured image At the risk of sounding like a bad homage to Abbott & Costello, who knew that The Who’s Roger Daltrey is a Churchill fan?  From a press release from Speaker John Boehner’s office: Roger Daltrey to Perform at Winston Churchill Ceremony October 24, 2013 WASHINGTON, DC - Multi-platinum recording artist Roger Daltrey, CBE, founder and lead singer of English rock band The Who, will perform next week at a U.S. Capitol ceremony honoring »

Why The Left Can Never Be Trusted With Power

Featured image If you want a good lesson in why the left can never be trusted with political power, especially in foreign policy, look no further than Mother Jones Washington bureau chief Nick Baumann, writing in Slate this week that “Neville Chamberlain Was Right.”  What was he right about?  Ceding Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938: “The maligned British prime minister did what we would want any responsible leader to do.” Do tell, »

When Hitler didn’t meet Churchill

Featured image President Obama’s palpable excitement over the phone call he had with the president of “the Islamic Republic of Iran” — Obama bows verbally even when he can’t execute his 90-degree dive in person — put me in mind of Winston Churchill’s failed meeting with Adolf Hitler. It’s a story I’ve mentioned here before and ask your indulgence in mentioning again as the occasion seems to warrant. Among the many qualities »

The Occasional Winston

Featured image Listening to Barack Obama advertise his man crush on Hassan Rouhani makes my skin crawl. Rouhani is a man with whom the United States has many scores to settle but he and the mullahs have Obama’s number, not that it’s all that hard to pick up. Fresh off his diplomatic “triumph” in Syria, Obama is all but shrieking: “I am a chicken ripe to be plucked.” As it happens, a »

The Occasional Winston

Featured image The recent op-ed columns by Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani in the New York Times and the Washington Post, respectively, have me wondering. What would a New York Times or Washington Post op-ed column by Adolf Hitler have looked like in 1936 or 1937? We don’t have to wonder what a column by Winston Churchill would have looked like. He was regularly cranking columns out as his wilderness years reached »

Is Islam a religion of peace?

Featured image Lee Rigby was brutally murdered by crazed Islamists in the streets of London this past May 22. In a feat of timing, the Oxford Union Society held a previously scheduled debate the following day on the motion this House believes that Islam is a religion of peace. The motion carried 286 to 168. The Oxford Union has posted videos of each of the six participants’ debate presentations here. You can »

The Weekly Winston: Vindicating the British Empire

Featured image In place of the traditional Churchill meditation that usually appears in this space on the weekends, let’s take a detour to one of the areas which contemporary liberals hold against Churchill: the British Empire.  For a long time I’ve been predicting that sooner or later revisionist scholarship would be begin to contest and eventually reverse much of the cliché-ridden leftist line that “colonialism” should be summed up purely as racism, »

The Weekly Winston: Syria Policy Drift

Featured image I’ve been lax lately in my Churchill posts, but the appalling spectacle last week of the Obama Administration’s tentative and pusillanimous decision about Syria brings to mind one of Churchill’s most famous beatdowns of appeasement, his 1936 “Locust Years,” speech, which includes this peroration that applies perfectly to Obama’s Syria policy (just swap out “Secretary of State Kerry” for First Lord of the Admiralty, and “President Obama” for “Prime Minister,” »