Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Winston Spenser Churchill, 1940-2010. R.I.P.

Winston Spenser Churchill, the grandson of the legendary British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, died today after a two year battle with prostate cancer. He was 69.

Churchill was born less than six months after his grandfather moved into 10 Downing Street. After a stint in journalism, Churchill would follow in his grandfather's footsteps and was elected to the House of Commons in 1970 and would remain there until 1997. Like his grandfather, he found himself out of favor with the Conservative Party. Unlike his grandfather, he never ascended to higher office. He never held a ministerial portfolio.

His grandfather was not taken seriously by the British establishment when he warned them of the evils of Nazism. Sadly, his grandson was not taken seriously by the British establishment when he warned them of the evils of Islamic fundamentalism. While visiting the United States in 2006, Churchill warned America against losing our resolve against evil:

Precipitate withdrawal is the counsel of defeatism and cowardice, which, if it holds sway, will immeasurably increase the dangers that today confront, not just America, but the entire Western world. It is something for which we shall pay a terrible price in the years ahead. When great nations go to war — and they should do so only as a last resort — they must expect to suffer grievous losses and must commit to war with an unconquerable resolve to secure victory.

In Iraq the United States has lost some 2,200 men and women, Britain just over 100. Compare that to the first day of the Battle of the Somme — 1 July 1916 — when the British Army in a single day, nay, before breakfast, lost 55,000 men killed, wounded or missing in action. Did we talk of quitting?

Of course, Churchill speaks a language that President Obama cannot understand. But what would you expect of someone who returns a bust of Sir Winston back to the Brits? Alas some people will never learn.

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