Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Munich Redux?

In the days following Neville Chamberlain's return from Munich, there had been great public rejoicing, enthusiastic crowds, and celebration. Winston Churchill, just an ordinary MP at this point in his career, rose slowly from his seat to address Parliament:
"I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty, no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week – I do not grudge them the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth.

They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses. They should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road...we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies:
"Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting".
And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."
One of Chamberlain's ministers, Malcolm McDonald, later recalled how his own palms were sweating, such were the force of these words...
Does history repeat itself, now, as the the Islamo-fascists mock our resolve?...T