Sunday, July 01, 2007

Winston Churchill III

Winston Churchill III, the grandson of THE Winston Churchill, gave an interesting speech a month ago at the Jewish National Fund of Australia's annual dinner at Crown, Melbourne.

Some excerpts, but it's well worth reading it all:
We must all play our part in combating intolerance and racism, including anti-Semitism, wherever it rears its ugly head, and redouble our efforts to extirpate this cancer that afflicts almost every land and which, tragically, shows no sign of abating.

For more than 40 years I have reported and observed the Middle East scene. As a young war-correspondent twenty-six years of age, I found myself in Israel in mid-May of 1967. I happened to be with David Ben-Gurion, former Prime Minister of Israel, interviewing him at dawn one morning in his suite at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem when - as I recall about 6.50am - Kol Israel interrupted their programs to announce that President Nasser of Egypt had closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping - cutting, at a stroke, Israel's oil lifeline.

Ben-Gurion, with a gesture of the hand, ordered his assistant to switch off the radio and, shaking his great mane of white hair gravely, declared with sorrow:

"This means war. I am very frightened. Not for Israel, for she will survive - we cannot afford otherwise - but for the younger generation. It is always the best of their generation who never return."
Turning to the situation in the Middle East today, the recent declaration by the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that the Holocaust never happened, and that Israel is a “tumour” to be “wiped off the map”, can only be a matter of the gravest concern, linked as it is with his decision to remove the UN seals from Iran's nuclear research facilities and press ahead with its program to develop nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

It is by no means impossible that this reckless action will provoke an Israeli, or even American air-strike to take out Iran's budding nuclear capability, as the Israeli Air Force so brilliantly did in 1981 with Saddam's Osirak reactor, named after the Egyptian mythological God of Death.

In such circumstances the political temperature in the Middle East would go stratospheric; Iran might sink a couple of super-tankers, closing the Straits of Hormuz and the price of oil could well go through $200 per barrel.
I wish to congratulate the JNF of Australia on your important initiative to raise funds to relocate half a million Israelis from the narrow coastal strip adjacent to Tel Aviv, to the under populated region of the Negev.

This is a project that is not only environmentally desirable but - given the great vulnerability of Israel's densely concentrated population to a potential nuclear attack - strategically sound. While hoping for the best, it always makes good sense to prepare for the worst.

As you may imagine, I am deeply proud to be Winston Churchill's grandson and to have the immense privilege of bearing the name of the man who, more than any other individual, turned the tide of war in the greatest and most terrible conflict known to man.

You may say I am biased - which of course I am - but I firmly believe that, but for Winston Churchill, Great Britain would have surrendered to Nazi Germany in that fateful summer of 1940, when all effective resistance to the Nazi power in continental Europe was coming to an end.

Though the situation seemed hopeless, Churchill, in the words of that great CBS Radio reporter, Edward R. Murrow - made famous by President John F Kennedy – “mobilised the English language and sent it into battle”.

Telling his fellow countrymen that he had “nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat,” he persuaded them to fight on for eighteen months alone, but for the strong, unstinting support of Australia, Canada and the other dominions of the crown.
But today a new challenge confronts us: Extremist Islam has declared war on the rest of the world, as we see from their ruthless attacks - overwhelmingly targeted at innocent civilians - with the outrage of 9/11, the bombings in Madrid, in Bali, in London and most recently, in Jordan.

Meanwhile the Fundamentalists are doing all in their power to mobilise against us the large Muslim communities living in our midst. There today are an estimated seven million Muslims in North America; nearly half a million in Australia, while in the European Union, the Muslim community is estimated at 20 million, including nearly 2 million in Britain.

The scale of the problem confronting Europe today is epitomized by France, which has a Muslim community of some 6 million, or 10% of its population. But, taking the population aged 20 and below, that figure rockets to 30%, such is the birth rate among the immigrant communities.

In other words, within one further generation, France will have become an Islamic country - a truly awesome prospect.

It is clear that the writing is on the wall for Judeo-Christian Europe, as we have known it over the past 2000 years. Why are the alarm-bells not ringing? Can it be that we would sooner commit national suicide than risk being labeled 'politically incorrect'?
It is deeply worrying the extent to which - unlike all other categories of immigrants - the Islamic communities are reluctant to bond with their fellow countrymen and women, while harbouring a separate, indeed alien agenda of their own.

While the US imports its bombers from Saudi Arabia, and Spain from North Africa, it is a deeply disturbing feature of the 7/7 attacks on London that our bombers were home-grown - a fact that should cause us to ponder, swift and hard, just where we have gone wrong. America and Britain are now experiencing what Israel has lived with for years: the curse of the suicide bomber.

While on Australian soil, I wish to pay tribute to your Prime Minister, John Howard. Unique among Western leaders, he has had the courage to stand up for those values - freedom, democracy, liberalism and tolerance - that inspire our Western democracies, bluntly endorsing the view that those who would prefer to live under Sharia law, rather than Parliamentary law, should pack their bags and go.
Intriguingly the dangers of extremist Islam were forseen by Winston Churchill all of 85 years ago, as I discovered to my amazement, while compiling my most recent book Never Give In! The best of Winston Churchill's Speeches.
On 14 June 1921, hard on the heels of the Cairo Conference, at which he presided over the re-shaping of the Middle East, including the creation of modern day Iraq. He warned the House of Commons:

“A large number of (Saudi Arabia's King) Bin Saud's followers belong to the Wahabi sect, a form of Mohammedanism which bears, roughly speaking, the same relationship to orthodox Islam as the most militant form of Calvinism would have borne to Rome in the fiercest times of (Europe's) religious wars.

“The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practice themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets.

“It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette and, as for the crime of alcohol, the most energetic supporter of the temperance cause in this country falls far behind them. Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and blood- thirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina ….”

In Churchill's day, of course, the viciousness and cruelty of the Wahabis was confined to the Saudi Arabia peninsula, and their atrocities were directed exclusively against their fellow Muslims, whom they held to be heretics for not adhering to the Wahabi creed - but not anymore.

Today the combination of the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the supine weakness of the Saudi royal family which - as the price for not having their own behaviour subjected to scrutiny and public criticism by these austere extremist clerics - has bank-rolled the Wahabi fundamentalist movement, and given these fanatical zealots a global reach to their vicious creed of hatred and extremism.
Whether the decision to invade Iraq was right or wrong, wise of foolish, is immaterial.

The reality is that Iraq today is the epicenter of the Islamic militants' assault on the West. They are determined that democracy shall not succeed in Iraq. For our part, we cannot allow it to fail.
What has happened to the mighty United States? Is she going soft? Are the elected representatives of the American people really ready to surrender to those who threaten their homeland - indeed their civilian population - with death and destruction?

I pray that they are not, and I call to mind the words of my Grandfather, addressing the Canadian Parliament on New Year's Day 1941, in which - referring to the British nation dwelling around the globe, but it applies equally to our American cousins today - he declared:

“We are a tough and hardy people! We have not traveled across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains and across the prairies because we're made of sugar candy!”

In conclusion, I would remind you all of Winston Churchill's words to the House of commons on becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, which applies every bit as much to the situation that confronts us today:

"You ask: What is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is Victory. Victory at all costs, Victory in spite of all terror. However long or hard the road may be; for without Victory there is no survival."
Let us fight the good fight - and let us fight it together! How pleased my Grandfather would be to know that - 40 years on from his death - the Anglo-American alliance is still strong and that British, Australian and American soldiers tonight as we are gathered here, stand shoulder-to-shoulder in Iraq and in Afghanistan, confronting the peril of the jour!

Long may we stand together! God bless Australia!
Of course, the Alexander Method solution to this Gordian Knot would be to simply separate the Wahabi Saudis from "their" oil fields, the wealth of which is used to churn out Sunni jihadi footsoldiers primarily in the madrassas of Pakistan.

After using their support to neuter Shiite Iran, of course.


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