Churchill

First They Came for the Students, Then They Came for the BBC
November 11, 2010

This morning my wife and I listened to BBC Radio’s “Today” program—required fare for members of the media looking to tap the nation’s pulse via broadcasts from Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior politicians. Two historians, in what was clearly a pre-recorded program, were discussing Churchill's bleak mood after the fall of France and prior to his making one of his most historic speeches to the House of Commons in June 1940. The speech was rousing both for Britons and for Americans, to whom it was also addressed.

I Like Turkey, but It's Not Going to Join the European Union
August 30, 2010

For a brief season, Henry Hopkinson was a Tory politician of the second rank, who might have risen higher if he hadn’t famously misspoken in 1954. As a junior minister at the Colonial Office, he said in the House of Commons that Cyprus would never be granted independence. This dogged him for the rest of his life.

A Deal With The Devil
July 17, 2010

Emissary of the Doomed: Bargaining For Lives in the Holocaust by Ronald Florence (Viking, 336 pp., $27.95)  I. March 18, 1944 was an unusually pleasant spring day in Budapest, with crowds filling the outdoor cafés: it was difficult to tell that Hungary was at war. Rumors were spread about the government’s secret negotiations with the Western Allies, and all surmised that an unspoken agreement existed according to which the Hungarians would not fire on American and British aircraft overflying the country and the enemy aircraft would not drop any bombs.

A Deal With The Devil
July 17, 2010

Emissary of the Doomed: Bargaining For Lives in the Holocaust by Ronald Florence (Viking, 336 pp., $27.95)  I. March 18, 1944 was an unusually pleasant spring day in Budapest, with crowds filling the outdoor cafés: it was difficult to tell that Hungary was at war. Rumors were spread about the government’s secret negotiations with the Western Allies, and all surmised that an unspoken agreement existed according to which the Hungarians would not fire on American and British aircraft overflying the country and the enemy aircraft would not drop any bombs.

First, Do No Harm
July 12, 2010

This is the most recent item in a debate about humanitarian intervention.

Continental Rift
July 11, 2010

Just over 45 years ago, I set foot in the United States for the first time. If you had sat the old Oxford scholarship exam in December and, in Simon Gray’s deathless definition of the pedagogical process, displayed a fluent fraudulence that the examiners could not expose without revealing their own fraudulence, you were able to take the next nine months off before going up as a freshman in October. So, “westward, look, the land is bright!”—a line Churchill liked to quote—and I set off to the New World, more precisely, to Chuck Berry’s ‘Promised Land’ of southern California.

Why Do British Conservatives Treat Deficits So Differently?
June 28, 2010

Every once in a while, one experiences a “clarifying moment,” foreshadowing an important policy debate that hasn’t yet taken shape. In 2003, for example, just before the Iraq war began, I heard Paul Berman give a talk to a group of liberals and leftists on his new book, “Terror and Liberalism.” The reception was almost uniformly hostile, so much so that Berman warned that the left was in danger of demonizing George Bush in the same way that the right had demonized Bill Clinton. He was prescient.

Trying Political Leaders
May 21, 2010

I. Trying political leaders: I do not mean trying them out, in advance, to see if we are likely to find their leadership disastrous, though that might be a good idea if we could find a way of doing it. In politics, judgment does not have to be, and often cannot be, after the fact. But it is post facto judgment that I wish to discuss: the morality and wisdom of putting political leaders on trial after we have endured their leadership and, perhaps, their crimes.

Trying Political Leaders
May 21, 2010

I. Trying political leaders: I do not mean trying them out, in advance, to see if we are likely to find their leadership disastrous, though that might be a good idea if we could find a way of doing it. In politics, judgment does not have to be, and often cannot be, after the fact. But it is post facto judgment that I wish to discuss: the morality and wisdom of putting political leaders on trial after we have endured their leadership and, perhaps, their crimes.

What Are Nukes Good For?
April 09, 2010

Peter Scoblic comes via Arms Control Today, which is not the usual stepping stone to our magazine, and has been studying the issue deeply for a long time. With the START treaty signing, it happens to be a very good time to have a nuclear weapons expert in house. Peter's cover story is a definitive essay on the future of the bomb. The most compelling question about this subject is whether nuclear deterrence still works against madmen. He says it can: That is, in the face of the most aggressive, most highly armed, most revolutionary power the United States has ever known, deterrence worked.

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