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,” and you have a perfect match).
The First Lord of the Admiralty in his speech the other night went even farther. He said, “We are always reviewing the position.” Everything, he assured us, “is entirely fluid.” I am sure that that is true. Anyone can see what the position is. The Government simply cannot make up their minds, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent.
Footnote: Apparently John Kerry is one of the hawks inside Obama’s counsels. Who knew that he was a neocon? According to one story out today, he has in recent days argued for American air strikes on Syria, and faced resistance from the military. Maybe he needs his magic hat back?