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« Peace of the Brave Redux | Main | Bush/Churchill Postscript »

December 01, 2005


Ted Seay

Bravo for the excellent piece, and for the bold comparison. History will be the judge, but I think you are exactly on target here...

Doug Santo

I have read Churchill's five volume work several times because I so much enjoy the Great Man's narrative. I also see many similarities between Churchill and our current President. Your piece was very good.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA




The New York Times editorial this morning provides the occasion for another historical analogy:

As the 1942 debate in the House of Commons began, Churchill unsuccessfully requested "that my forthcoming statement might be electrically recorded so that it could be used for broadcasting to the Empire and the United States."

But "objection was taken on various grounds which had no relation to the needs of the hour" and Churchill had to withdraw his request. "It was in such an atmosphere that I rose to speak."

The Times this morning complains that so many people only heard Bush speak through electronic means. He "spoke to yet another of the well-behaved, uniformed audiences . . . If you do not happen to be a midshipman, you'd have to have been watching cable news at midmorning on a weekday to catch him."

First as near-tragedy, second as near farce.


"Few remember that Churchill faced a crisis of confidence two-and-a-half years into the war, exploited by those “with lesser burdens to carry.”

Sad to say that today's education the youth receive will not enlighten them to the facts.
Pity one cannot illuminate America's equivalent of "with lesser burdens to carry" for general viewing.

William Goodwin

Churchill's speech was in the midst of a war that had been thrust upon England against an enemy that was threatening to invade the country and was engaged in daily terror bombing. Bush's speech was in the midst of a war that he initiated, against an enemy that posed little or no threat to the homeland. Comparing the war in Iraq with World War II is simply obtuse.


William -- In retrospect, perhaps a pre-emptive war against Germany would have been a good idea, even before he threatened the British homeland. It might have avoided a war involving daily terror bombing in London.


Haha, William Goodwin smells.



Churchill wanted to initiate a preemptive war against the Germans in 1936 when Hitler reoccupied the Rhineland in violation of the Treaty of Locarno. He screamed at the top of his lungs that this was the last chance to avoid a major war. But he was treated with contempt as a warmongering loud mouthed has-been by the governments of France and England.

Tomas J. Nally


Essentially, the Gulf War of 1991 never ended. We suspended most -- but not all -- of the coalition's offensive operations until a time when Sadam agreed to all conditions regarding his weapons.

To the very end, he refused to meet all of the conditions. Then, after September 11th, the government of the United States made the prudent decision that it was time for the bill collector to finally pay Sadam a visit so that this past due account could be settled, once and for all.

In Public Law 105-235 (signed in 1998), the "President [was] urged to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations."

That was followed by the "Iraq Liberation Act" the same year.

Finally, we elected a President who saw the failure of lip service, and decided to take "appropriate action".

---Tom Nally, New Orleans

n kamillatos

Churchill lamented the failure of the allies to confront Nazi Germany's Treaty violations in 1936 and the pain that was causing in his December 1941 speech to the Joint Session of Congress. The President learned from that history to fight an 'elective' war that has now become a necessary war because AQ has gone all-in in Iraq-- Winston's 1941 words follow:

When we consider the resources of the United States and the British Empire compared to those of Japan, when we remember those of China, which has so long and valiantly withstood invasion and when also we observe the Russian menace which hangs over Japan, it becomes still more difficult to reconcile Japanese action with prudence or even with sanity. What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realise that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget? Members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives, I turn for one moment more from the turmoil and convulsions of the present to the broader basis of the future. Here we are together facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin; here we are together defending all that to free men is dear. Twice in a single generation the catastrophe of world war has fallen upon us; twice in our lifetime has the long arm of fate reached across the ocean to bring the United States into the forefront of the battle. If we had kept together after the last War, if we had taken common measures for our safety, this renewal of the curse need never have fallen upon us.

Do we not owe it to ourselves, to our children, to mankind tormented, to make sure that these catastrophes shall not engulf us for the third time? It has been proved that pestilence may break out in the Old World, which carry their destructive ravages into the New World, from which, once they are afoot, the New World cannot by any means escape. Duty and prudence alike command first that the germ-centres of hatred and revenge should be constantly and vigilantly surveyed and treated in good time, and, secondly, that an adequate organisation should be set up to make sure that the pestilence can be controlled at its earliest beginnings before it spreads and rages throughout the entire earth.

Five or six years ago it would have been easy, without shedding a drop of blood, for the United States and Great Britain to have insisted on fulfilment of the disarmament clauses of the treaties which Germany signed after the Great War; that also would have been the opportunity for assuring to German those raw materials which we declared in the Atlantic Charter should not be denied to any nation, victor or vanquished. That chance has passed. It is gone. Prodigious hammer-strokes have been needed to bring us together again, or if you will allow me to use other language, I will say that he must indeed have a blind soul who cannot see that some great purpose and design is being worked out here below, of which we have the honour to be the faithful servants. It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will for their own safety and for the good of all walk together side by side in majesty, injustice and in peace.



To follow up further on my comments. Not only was Churchill calling for war in 1936, the German general staff was scared witless by the reoccupation of the Rhineland. Had they been opposed militarily, the general staff had planned a coup to remove Hitler and call for elections!

Meanwhile, back in England, the good lefties in the government and elsewhere, who knew that violence never settled anything, were extremely upset with Churchill. So upset that the BBC wouldn't let him broadcast on the radio for the next two years, until the eve of WWII.

There is a close analogy between 1936 and 2003 but it's not perfect. In 1936 England and France hadn't been attacked on their home soil, unlike 9/11.

If you'd like the details read "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" by William L. Shirer and "The Last Lion" by William Manchester.

Lt. Jarred Fishman

Awesome comparison- next do Bush and Abraham Lincoln :)

We need more conservative and patriotic Jews stepping up to support our troops...

In Vino Veritas

All the President ever does is give speeches. Churchill, on the other hand, gave speeches, and actually executed a strategy that helped lead to victory over the Huns.

Once the President completes the second part (i.e., actually doing something), the comparison might be more than laughable.


Saddam's Hussein Iraq was not the only enemy, but it was a focus.

Islam is the true enemy. It is a totalitarian Fascist religio/political system that sustains itself through intimidation, rape, assault and murder. Why else would Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan all have rules sentencing Muslim converts to Christianity to death?

What Iraq does is serve as a focal point for Islamic aggression. I truly believe that if we were not over there, the terrorists would be here blowing things up. Muslims in the United States are only biding their time. We WILL see Muslims attacking us in this country.

Charles Giacometti

Thank you for citing Churchill's history of the second world war. When 9/11 happened, I embarked on a reading project I had long thought about, which was to read all six volumes of the history. It showed Churchill to be a great leader, a great conservative thinker, and a great writer. Everyday I think about how unfortunate we are to have Bush and not Churchill in this time of need.


In Vino Veritas, indeed. Perhaps you believe that Churchill leaped into battle with a Lee-Enfield in his hands and a dagger in his teeth? No, he did what Bush is doing now: Meet with his generals and other advisors, help direct overall strategy, but leave the actual battlefield tactics to his generals. He certainly never publicly declared a "timetable for withdrawal."

Consider that Britain declared war on Germany when the latter invaded Poland, on the other side of Europe. Germany didn't lay a glove on Britain prior to this declaration. And yet Churchill knew that if his nation didn't enter the struggle against Nazism sooner, they would have to enter it eventually, and as every day passed Germany only gained in strength and threat. (He of course would have much preferred to have gone to war with Germany even prior to the Polish invasion, but the political elite and the media refused to go along, calling him a warmonger -- sound familiar?)

Consider too that Britain lost more than 300,000 soldiers in combat -- with a population one-seventh the size of the U.S. today. Churchill would shake his head in disgust if he saw how the West's elites dissemble and cower in the face of the Islamofascist threat.


Rick, you shouldn't open your posts with the usual anti-left attacks. It immediately labels you as a right winger with no credibility except with those who already agree with you anyway.

I agree with staying the course but comparing Bush with Churchill will insult our British allies. Compare him instead to the other paper tigers we read out there who live in constant fear that the terrorists are going to hurt them. Let's see those stiff upper lips!

Matt, Esq.

As a follow-up to Paul's comments, the Lion in Winter, which is frequently on cable, is a pretty good account of Churchill's uphill battle to convince Britain's politicians that Germany was a real threat and they needed to act.


I should expect you to like Bush. His incompetence virtually assured that the inevitable victory would not result in a unified, democratic Iraq. After all, had he been savvy enough to secure to create the latter, that nation would have freely and democratically told Sharon to kiss off.
As it turns out, we shall probably have a fragmented and weak Iraq‚ which you doubtless prefer.
In sum, you aren't fooling anybody as to your real intrests and intentions.


What incompetence? He managed to win two elections (Yes he did! Dispite the cries of stealing the first then newspapers who counted all the ballots agreed that he did.) He and his forces have all but finished the battle in Iraq and if left alone would finish it soon. But my question is what nation would have kissed off Sharon? What did he have to do with Iraq except duck when they sent the rockets down on Tel Aviv? Your post is a bit of a mess.

SJ Dowling

This comparison is utterly specious. Churchill took action against an enemy that actually was dangerous, not against a country that had been routed in '91. Iraq was not in league with Al Quaeda and was no threat to the US or it's allies. Churchill was accused of mismanagement, but Bush actually has mismanaged Iraq at every step, from his failure to persuade Americans honestly to his failure to stop the looting to his failure to allocate enough troops to do the job right.
(Hey! I used some repetitive rhetoric there! I'm Churchill, too!!)
Could he be bothered to read the State Departments reports regarding Iraq? Because I think Churchill might have at least skimmed it.
How long did it take for the Allies to pacify Germany and Japan after they were defeated? Months. And Bush can't put down or co-opt these insurgent losers.
History will be comparing George W. Bush to Warren G. Harding as they duke it out for the title of "Most Incompetent American President".

Rick, why are you channeling your inner Harriet Miers?

Nickie Goomba

Thank you for the history lesson and the sorely-needed reminder.

Jay Ostrander

n kamillatos

What a great and relevant bit of history. Thank You

The comparison of Bush to Churchill is not the main message here.
The political situation that the UK and US were in, during Hitler’s rise in 1936 and the one we are in now is too close to dismiss. The difference is that Hitler was not stupid enough to attack before he was ready. That would have rightfully given Churchill the authority to get rid of him with little loss of life (2000 – 3000 troops?).
911 gave the US the right to go in and clean the swamp.

Stephen Gibson

What alot of people forget is that the biggest appeaser in 1936 was Kennedy. Reality sat in May of 40 when the British were within hours of surrending. The appeasers like today appeasers honestly believe that if we leave them alone they will leave us alone. Mr. Kennedy left them alone in 1936 and look what it brought, millions of Jews dead, millions of Russians dead, millions of Europeans and Americans dead. Those millions died without the possibility to fight back. Our men and women of the military understand this and realize if they defeat the enemy there, then their little brothers and sisters don't have to die in the streets, cities, farms and trade centers in the US.


Would the president have the bravery to submit himself to a vote of confidence in Congress? I don't think so, certainly not without first unleashing his enablers across the media to smear his critics as cowards.

TF Stern

Thanks for a great article. After reading this I wrote a quick post of my own and linked directly here so more folks could read your work.


William P. Wilson MD

We should nver forget that this war is a spirtual war. Islam has as its goal the extinction of Judaism and Chritianity. They wish to impose thier fascist culture on the West. They did so under the Ottomans until they were turned back at Vienna. They want to do it again. The riots in France were just the beginning of a more widespread assault. It is impossible for non spirtual persons to understand this for they do not understand spiritual things. George W. Bush conciously or subconciously understands it. Since Israel and The US are the most aggressive in their resistance we are their primary targets. Israel knows how to deal with them and we are learning. One last point is to realize that the opposition leadership comes from the entire Islamic world, not Just Iraq. Since we cannot take on all of that world Iraq is a good place to do it at present.

Rough Justice

If Only.

If only we were led by a Churchill instead of the most inarticulate boob to grace the national stage in living memory. (Yes, including Quayle)


lets not start sucking each other off just yet.

this isint the same as in 1945, this is 2005, and bush is screwing things up really bad

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