I was a child in the 1930s, and grew up during WW2. I remember
Not all the appeasers were fools or cowards. The older generation had been exhausted by WW1, and the younger – my parents and their contemporaries – had lost many relatives and friends in the senseless carnage of the Western Front. Nobody in
What I remember most vividly was the growing sense of storm clouds gathering which would very soon make it impossible for anyone to go on living their lives as they wanted to. It was very disturbing for a little boy whose family had quite enough troubles already without a war. The right-wing blimps who thought that Hitler wasn’t such a bad chap really – he was just instilling some badly-needed discipline, but sometimes went a bit too far – and the deluded lefties who toed the Comintern line and continued to vociferously oppose the “imperialist capitalist war” right up until Hitler invaded Russia in 1941 were all hopelessly muddle-headed. Whatever one’s retrospective view of Winston Churchill, it was he and his small band of supporters who got the truer picture.
So, having lived through that, is it surprising that I have a dreary sense of déja vu in these post-9/11 years? In some respects, the mistakes of the West’s leaders have been even worse and more crass. Instead of bending every effort to swiftly capture Al Quaeda’s leadership and put them on trial before an international court, the Bush Administration, with Tony Blair trotting poodle-like behind, fell right into the elephant pit which had been dug for them, and launched the absurd “war on terror” which looks like going on for ever and getting nowhere fast. With their extraordinary doctrine of “pre-emptive intervention” in failed states where they perceive a democratic deficit, they remind me uncomfortably of that other unsavoury duo, Hitler and Mussolini, rampaging around Europe and
The Pandora’s Box of Muslim hostility which they have opened by their crass invasion of
What I am seeking – I hope not in vain – are constructive ideas as to how we are going to get ourselves out of this mess. No “Yah, Boo, it’s all the other lot’s fault”, please!