Friday, April 21, 2006

The Churchill Series - Apr. 21, 2006

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Before you go back to reading the days news with its reports from the Middle East and stories about the continuing troubles in Northern Ireland, read this paragraph from the Encyclopedia Britannica’s Churchill biographical entry online (I've broken the paragraph into sections thereby creating "white space" for readers' ease. - JinC):

In 1921 Churchill moved to the Colonial Office, where his principal concern was with the mandated territories in the Middle East.

For the costly British forces in the area he substituted a reliance on the air force and the establishment of rulers congenial to British interests; for this settlement of Arab affairs he relied heavily on the advice of T.E. Lawrence.

For Palestine, where he inherited conflicting pledges to Jews and Arabs, he produced in 1922 the White Paper that confirmed Palestine as a Jewish national home while recognizing continuing Arab rights.

Churchill never had departmental responsibility for Ireland, but he progressed from an initial belief in firm, even ruthless, maintenance of British rule to an active role in the negotiations that led to the Irish treaty of 1921. Subsequently, he gave full support to the new Irish government. ...
It’s almost a century since those events occurred, and forty years since Churchill died. Yet if he walk ed among us now, he'd immediately recognize and understand events in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.

Our media often report events in those areas as if they are primarily determined by contemporary political and religious leaders, and economic and military factors. While they’re important, religious, political, and cultural factors that have been in play for centuries remain the controlling factors in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. conflicts.

Churchill knew that "back then" and would remind us of it today.

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Locomotive Breath said...

JiC-

I've been enjoying the Churchill series. I've read Manchester's bio of Churchill (Last Lion) and I've currently working through WC's history of WW II. It may be a first edition since I inherited it from my father in law who was a WWII bombardier in B-17's and 24s. The FiL shares a birthday with WC and was a big fan. Tiny trivia: the FiL was in the bomb group about which "Twelve O'clock High was made and he said it was pretty close to a true portrayal. I had the good fortune to visit Chartwell about two years ago. Inspiring.