Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Churchill Series – Dec. 20, 2007

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

The recent two post series which included a look at why Britain failed to adequately rearm in the face of the growing Nazi threat brought us face-to-face with Neville Chamberlain and his genuine belief that he could appease Hitler and assure “peace in our time.”

If you’re convinced you can appease a Hitler or some other terrorist ideologue, the last thing you want to do is make yourself strong. That only upsets terrorists.

That’s said by way of introducing excerpts from a column Chris Patton, someone knew to me, wrote a few days after the July 7, 2005 London tube and bus bombings. His column title asked: “Is Britain the Land of Churchill or Chamberlain?”

It began:

To anyone with a gram-and-a-half of common sense and an equal dose of respect for innocent human life, the recent mass murder in London’s subway system should have come as no surprise.

The United Kingdom has for far too long been a hotbed of Islamist terror cells, with too many Brits believing their tolerance would save them from this kind of evil destruction. History teaches another lesson.

The stark contrast of Great Britain’s pre-World War II prime minister, the cowardly Neville Chamberlain, with his successor, the courageous Winston Churchill, has inspired analysis for the past seven decades.

Chamberlain’s name has almost become synonymous with capitulation, in much the same way the name Benedict Arnold has become tantamount to betrayal. . . .

Chamberlain thought he could negotiate with Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, just as liberals in the U.S. and Britain believe they can make nice today with Islamic extremists bent on destroying Western Civilization. …

Americans understand all too well the agony of those who lost loved ones in the London bombings. There are no words of consolation for those whose husband, wife, son or daughter simply disappears, as so many did on September 11, 2001. But as the British people, whose current prime minister, Tony Blair, has been a stalwart U.S. ally in Iraq, pick up the pieces of the worst public act of terrorism in that nation’s history, they have a choice to make.

The initial signs are that the spirit of Winston Churchill, the cigar-chomping bulldog who took the British people through one of the darkest times in world history, is alive and well. Let us hope that remains true, for the ghost of Neville Chamberlain is always lurking in the cowardice of people who refuse to confront evil.
Without the spirit of Winston Churchill we will not subdue the latest terrorist threat to Western civilization. The 1930s and 40s teach us that.

We must never forget.

Patton’s entire column is here.