Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 25, 2008

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

While a young officer in India, Churchill was very critical of many of the Army's tactics and ranking officers. He put his criticisms into dispatches which he sent off to newspaper editors who were eager to publish them.

Churchill knew he was letting himself in for a great deal of criticism from powerful people with experience much greater than his. But he was prepared for that. He wrote a friend:

"There will not be wanting those who will remind that in this matter my opinion finds no support in age or experience. To such I shall reply that if what is written is false or foolish neither age nor experience should fortify it; and if it is true,it needs no such support."

When I read Churchill's remarks, I thought of something President Lincoln said concerning criticism he knew he was sure to get:

"If the end brings me out all right, what's said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference."

The words of each of the great men resonate with those of the other. ______________________________________________________________ For the Churchill quote and background see William Manchester, The Last Lion (p. 256-260) For the familiar Lincoln quote I used Google.