Saturday, May 2, 2009

Obama & Lessons From Sir Winston

Obama turns to Winston Churchill to support his policies. He would be better advised to turn to Sir Winston for guidance on what policies to follow in the first instance.

"The British, during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, we don’t torture—when the entire British—all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat. And the reason was that Churchill understood you start taking shortcuts, and over time that corrodes what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country."

- President Obama at his 100 Days Press Conference

That was Obama's attempt to justify his decision to, as Michael Sheuer described it, elevate "his personal beliefs" to a position of greater importance than "protecting [our] country, . . . homes and . . . families." Except that Obama - whose knowledge of western history, at least outside of Marx and Engels, appears to be paper thin - got it wrong. It seems that he lifted these lines from not Churchill, but excitable Andy Sullivan. Churchill never said that, and by all accounts, Churchill was willing to do whatever he thought necessary to win at war, including fire bombing entire German cities and arguing for the summary execution of Nazi officers.

That said, at least Obama is at last turning for inspiration to one of the towering icons of Western Civilization.

And that is indeed what Sir Winston Churchill is. He was a unique man of amazing intellect, prescient vision and brutal wit. He appeared on history's stage just as three major threats to Western Civilzation were forming. He saw each clearly and urged action before they could metasticize. As I wrote some time ago:

In 1919, Churchill wanted to fully invest the White Revolution and end Boshevism before it took hold and became the communist state of the Soviet Union. In 1933, Churchill argued strongly in favor of threatening military force against Nazi Germany to stop their rearmanent, [thereby aborting WWII]. In between, he argued against backing Ibn Saud and the Wahhabis to take over Arabia, seeing in them and their poisonous Wahhabi Islam a threat to the entire Western World. Amazing, that this one man clearly saw the three greatest threats to Western Civilization of the past century, and had we but listened to him at any of those junctures, how many tens of millions of lives would have been spared?

Indeed, if Obama is to look for inspiration anywhere, he could do no better than Sir Winston. For example, Churchill could hold the key to explaining to Obama that his Marxian view of capitalism is supremely misguided. As Churchill once said,

Some regard private enterprise as if it were a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look upon it as a cow that they can milk. Only a handful see it for what it really is - the strong horse that pulls the whole cart.

And Obama would do well to understand that his populist rhetoric damning capitalism and "obscene profit" is utterly backward. Churchill once stated, after listening to another damn the profit motive:

The substance of the eminent Socialist gentleman's speech is that making a profit is a sin, but it is my belief that the real sin is taking a loss.

And as to Obama's plans to tax the wealthy in order to fund his world record out of control spending - and to tax all of us indirectly to bring us into his vision of a new era of green prosperity - Churchill would no doubt tell Obama that such an effort is nothing if not counterproductive:

. . . [F]or a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.

Indeed, Chuchill would undoubtedly tell Obama that the socialism he seeks to impose on us in America has already been tried and that it failed at every turn. As Churchill pointed out, it is a utopian ideology, doomed to failure in all but two locales:

There are only two places where socialism will ever work - in Heaven, where it is not needed, and in Hell, where it is already in practice.

Further, there is little doubt that Churchill would have harsh words for Obama and his handling of the growing threat to the West by Iran's mad mullahs. He would no doubt explain the inevitable outcome of attempting to placate an aggressive menace rather than standing up to it early on.

Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.

But alas, I think Obama's brief foray into an examination of the life and wisdom of Winston Churchill is not to be. Other then his superficial look at Sir Winston through the deeply distorting lens of Andy Sullivan, it would appear that Obama lacks any interest in Churchill. We can gather that from, if not else, his decision to have the White House's bust of Winston Churchill returned to Britain.

Nonetheless, the rest of us can take heart from the words of Churchill as we contemplate the fact that we elected Obama and now must live through his attempts to radically change our country. As Churchill observed of our forebearers:

The Americans will always do the right thing . . . after they've exhausted all the alternatives."

Given the current alternative we have chosen, I do hope that Churchill's words still ring true.


Ex-Dissident said...

Great post, GW.
I really don't expect much sane behaviour from Obama. That circus of sycophants around him, are pretty hopeless too. Unfortunately, these nasty critters will hang around until there is some tragic event that sends them scurrying under some rock. History has this habit of repeating.............

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GW said...

Anonymous - what you have written is not a comment to the above post, its a stand alone, incredibly long polemic. If you send it to me as an e-mail, I will read it and, if appropriate, post it seperately. Otherwise, please do not use the comment section for things such as this.