Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Churchill as War Criminal

As this story from the London Telegraph makes clear, the Germans have started attacking Churchill as a war criminal because he approved of the bombing of civilian populations. An article in the largest newspaper in Germany is arguing that Churchill wanted to exterminate the German civilian population; it claims that civilian deaths were not only collatoral damage, but were the purpose of the bombing.

Well, this reveals more about current German sensibilities (not that some kook wrote a kooky book, but that a major newspaper decides to serialize it) than about Churchill’s policy. Winston had a pretty good knowledge of the laws of war and the difference between civilization and barbarism. And he also knew something about modern technology and its effects (the submarine and the airplane are ones he worried about most) on modern all-out wars that were guided by ideologues and had no respect for limited (and relatively civilized) wars of the past. The area bombing was always controversial (even during the war) and even Churchill could--after viewing of an Air Ministry film of German cities burning--ask the question: "Are we beasts? Are we taking this too far?" He was conscious of the problem. See his March 28, 1945 memo to the Chiefs of Staff, for further reflection on the issue. Much can be said on this subject, and reasonable people can disagree, of course, yet it cannot be stated that the Brits or Churchill tried to exterminate the Germans. Is it possible, is it likely, that the Germans are, once again, becoming the idealists/ideologues that they have been in the past? Let us see some measured reason come from this people.

By the way, I saw on the news this morning Bush sitting with Blair at the NATO meeting holding a news conference, and the camera took in the whole man. Bush was wearing his cowboy boots! Cowboy boots in the heart of Europe! What a good man Bush is!

Discussions - 1 Comment

Bush - a "good man"!?
You and I must be living in parallel universes, sir. In the universe I inhabit, George W. Bush is a weak, hateful and entirely odious war-monger who is responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent Afghan and Iraqi civilians.
As for Churchill: he may have been an effective leader during WW2, but he was also a callous brute who who did not hesitate to bomb civilian "targets" - long before WW2.
"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," he once said, "to spread a lively terror."
What a guy.

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