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The History Man

by | 29th, August 2002

‘IN times of great need, a country needs a great leader. During WWII we had Winston Churchill, one of the most brilliant statesmen of modern times, to steer Britain safely though its darkest hour. America has George W Bush.

”I have nothing to offer except…er…that’s it”

He’s no Winston Churchill, but at least Dubya can call on memories of Churchill in an attempt to justify his unpopular foreign policy. The Guardian writes that Bush and the hawks in his administration are invoking Churchill’s memory ”with ever growing fervour as they plead the historic necessity of a pre-emptive attack on Iraq”.

To Americans, especially Republicans, ”he symbolises unflinching opposition to appeasement”. Diplomacy is for wimps. And besides, it’s so much easier for Dubya to drop a bomb than it is for him to attempt to negotiate with politicians who, like him, can’t even speak English properly.

In the Guardian, historians condemn the ”lazy thinking” of Bush and his cronies. ”Churchill is the only Englishman any of them has ever heard of, with the possible exception of Shakespeare if they were hard-working at school,” writes Ben Pimlott. ”Americans admire Churchill’s brilliance, his language and oratory, his feline style. But Bush is a neanderthal with no knowledge of the world. Churchill had a great deal of knowledge.”

And Bush is desperately trying to tap into some of that. The Guardian writes of ”rumours that Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s most prolific biographer, was called in to the White House to give Mr Bush a private lecture”, believed to have included such topics as Europe: Where Is It?; WWII – A Beginner’s Guide; and Why Tony Blair Is Not ‘His Holiness’.



Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink