I just finished reading Ralph Raico’s total evisceration of Winston Churchill. According to Raico, Churchill was throughout his life dedicated to two ends: his own power and the making of war. Every other principle he “ultimately betrayed.” Among Churchill’s sins are accounted the following: violating the international laws of war in blockading food and medicine from German civilians during World War I, setting merchant shipping policies that led to the sinking of the Lusitania (if not actually arranging for its sinking directly), returning Britain to the gold-exchange standard at prewar parity (thus destroying the British economy and setting the stage for the disastrous series of events that plunged the world into the Great Depression), attempting to crush the Indian independence movement, and more.
Even Churchill’s early opposition to Nazi Germany was tainted, for Churchill also took a hard line against Weimar Germany’s attempts to ease its heavy burden of reparations – policies that ultimately led to the rise of Hitler in the first place. In the end, Churchill’s real value lay in his rhetoric and the way in which he boosted British morale during the dark days of 1940. In the end, one achieves historic greatness more by what one says than by what one does, it seems.
HT: Brian Doherty