Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Churchill- the first Neocon


In today's New York Times is a two-page article outlining the reasons for the championing of Churchill by American conservatives since the Reagan Administration and his denigration on the other side of the Pond.

In England right-wing historians are portraying the last lion as a drunk, a dilettante, an incorrigible bungler who squandered the opportunity to cut a separate peace with Hitler that would have preserved the British Empire. On the American right, by contrast, Churchill idolatry has reached its finest hour. George W. Bush, who has said ''I loved Churchill's stand on principle,'' installed a bronze bust of him in the Oval Office after becoming president. On Jan. 21, 2005, Bush issued a letter with ''greetings to all those observing the 40th anniversary of the passing of Sir Winston Churchill.'' The Weekly Standard named Churchill ''Man of the Century.'' So did the columnist Charles Krauthammer, who in December 2002 delivered the third annual Churchill Dinner speech sponsored by conservative Hillsdale College; its president, Larry P. Arnn, also happens to belong to the International Churchill Society. William J. Luti, a leading neoconservative in the Pentagon, recently told me, ''Churchill was the first neocon.'' Apart from Michael Lind writing in the British magazine The Spectator, however, the Churchill phenomenon has received scant attention. Yet to a remarkable extent, the neoconservative establishment is claiming Churchill (who has just had a museum dedicated to him in London) as a founding father.

9 comments:

the monarchist said...

Welcome to 2.0 YH. This article appears to be dated Feb 27, 2005, not today? Whatever, it's a good dig.

To compare Bush with Churchill is to do grave injustice to Churchill, his political philosophy, his speech writing, his eloquence, his leadership style...on many fronts, Bush is no Churchill, but that is beside the point as it relates to this article.

Churchill the first Neocon? If by neocon we are talking about the general acceptance by those on the right to the merits of liberal imperialism in a dangerous world, I think you would have to go way past Churchill in time to the Roman Empire and its attempt to civilise the world and make it in its own image.

In any event neoconservatism has more to do with liberalism (or at least "liberals mugged by reality") than it does conservatism, and I would put Churchill more in the old style Tory conservative camp, than in the new liberal conservative one.

Publius said...

On this, I have to disagree with the characterization of Churchill as a neocon. Churchill was first and foremost an enlightened realist when it came to foreign affairs, schooled in the period of 'splendid isolation' that allowed Britain and her Empire to thrive. He was one of the most astute students of the national interest of the 20th century. An avowed anti-communist was able to forge an alliance with Soviet Russia to expunge the Nazi threat from Europe noting wryly 'if Hitler had invaded Hell, I would at least attempt to make a favourable reference to the Devil'. Neoconservatives and others will admire his commitment to Liberty and freedom but in pursuit of those goals, Churchill was willing to employ the important tools of diplomacy in the national interest. Kissinger, Thatcher, Nixon, Reagan during the cold war; these are the inheritants of the Churchill tradition, not George W. Bush, Rumsfeld, or Wolfowitz.

cawp said...

Well I don't think Churchill was the first neocon - he is perhaps the first neocon people in the U.S. have heard of, but the British Empire itself in the late 18th and 19th centuries was thoroughly neocon. Gunboat diplomacy at one end, and at the other - full-blown colonisation. Iraq falls about in the middle.

Bush is no Churchill, of course, in obvious ways - eloquence, erudition, simple leadership - though I don't in any way subscribe to the boring and facile idea that Bush is a moron. Yet the American people are slipping from him, in a way the Brits didn't till the war was over (this perhaps owes to the gentle way in which the war is being undertaken - it doesn't much feel like war in the U.S.) So. Not a Churchill. But Churchill was certainly a neocon, and there's no way Kissinger, Thatcher, Nixon and Reagan stand as simply examples of great exercisers of diplomacy... they were more than ready to use force or build arms, reactively or pre-emptively.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Churchill is hardly a neocon. He WAS a Tory, Imperialist and Free Trader.

Because he was all three, he could flit between the left-wing of the Tory Party, the Right-Wing of the Liberal Party, the Reform wing of the Liberal and Tory parties, and then return to the Tory Party as a right-winger, and then abandon the right-wing over India (from a rw persepctive) and Appeasement (from a lw perspective).

He was able to do this because he WAS a British Imperialist. Note that I did not say Nationalist, because his philosophy was to francophile to allow him to be a traditional English xenophobe. As well, he loved the Scots, Welsh and Irish in a uniquely pan-British manner that would not allow him to be a "Little Englander" in the manner of Lady Thatcher.

He was Imperialist and Internationalist - and true students of the Churchill legacy know how unique that approach was.

Churchill was certainly an admirer of the Aemricans - for what they could provide the Empire in terms of security within an alliance of self-interest. He disliked many other things in the American culture however ...

In his heart, he was a francophile - and it is that legacy that the Americans never seem to address, what with their proclivity for "Freedom Fries" and all that rubbish.

Younghusband said...

Oops... my mistake Beaverbrook. I was reading the Times, clicked onto this link at the side and so assumed it was from the other day.
I won't be able to do much commenting until I figure out what to do with this Blogger or until they fix the old Blogger. All the commands are in Chinese and there's nothing I can do about it. It took me about an hour just to be able to post this yesterday as I couldn't even log onto The Monarchist.

The Monarchist said...

I don't like this commenting system in the slightest. I'm shopping around to find a suitable replacement. TheirSay was excellent when it was working, but it's broken and the code is not adaptable to Blogger Beta, so bear with me...

Shaftesbury, your display name is coming up Aeneus again. There's no reason to stick to the single name convention anymore, but let's try to maintain our profiles. Cheers.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Let me fix this.

Sorry Mate ...

Aeneas the Younger said...

BB:

Could you please send me a new invitation? I forgot to open a separate Google Account for TM.

I opened you invitation under my AtY Google Account.

My bad.

Anonymous said...

"Krauthammer" is a remarkably aposite name for a fan of Sir Winston.