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Belly up to Barbarism
June 24, 2006 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Churchill would have approved - or so says this op-ed. New spin on savage behavior?
posted by Surfurrus (52 comments total)

 
I don't think a one-link post to a Washington Times op-ed is gonna fly.
posted by driveler at 9:55 AM on June 24, 2006


Yeah, and Churchill also armed passenger ships with guns and blamed the Germans for attacking non-combatants.

He also repeatedly called Gandhi a wog.
posted by Relay at 9:56 AM on June 24, 2006


Sounds like she just wants to feel good about killing innocent civilians, children, etc.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 9:58 AM on June 24, 2006


Churchill smoked opium.
posted by delmoi at 10:00 AM on June 24, 2006


Let's nuke Baghdad! That'll teach those towelheads not to mess with us. 9/11, never forget!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:01 AM on June 24, 2006


Gandhi was a wog.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:01 AM on June 24, 2006


I can see it now, I think. It is on the right-hand page of a book by or about Winston Churchill, and it is a quotation by Churchill on the subject of war. Specifically, what happens to a civilized society when it goes to war with a barbarous one. I can't find it (yet), but what I remember as being the main point was that if the civilized society is to prevail over the barbarous one

Here's an idea, why don't you STFU untill you actually find the quote? Oh yeah, I remember a quote from Ragen talking about republicans are all child molesters, but I can't seem to find it. I'm sure it exists, though.

MOONIE TIMES INDEED!
posted by delmoi at 10:02 AM on June 24, 2006


We have a rogue helicopter pilot on the loose inside this airspace.

This is the thread where we post nonsensical ranting, right?
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:03 AM on June 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't usually pay much attention to far fringe freak stuff, but I just got a weird feeling when I saw this quoted. Will we will be hearing this (or version of) on Faux next week? The right is rumbling?
posted by Surfurrus at 10:04 AM on June 24, 2006



posted by edgeways at 10:05 AM on June 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


Come on guys, let's just kill'em all, then afterwards we can have this big party and all vote Republican.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 10:08 AM on June 24, 2006


Come on guys, let's just kill'em all, then afterwards we can have this big party and all vote Republican.

Aren't we already in the process of doing just that?
posted by kgasmart at 10:13 AM on June 24, 2006


you're kidding about the beards, right?
posted by yonation at 10:15 AM on June 24, 2006


Wow--a single link to a 200 word op-ed piece that expands on an alleged Churchill quote that the author can't find or quite remember. What a terrible post.
posted by LarryC at 10:16 AM on June 24, 2006


"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." - Winston Churchill
posted by edverb at 10:20 AM on June 24, 2006


Morally despicable, and utterly wrong.
posted by jokeefe at 10:20 AM on June 24, 2006


"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals." - Churchill
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:24 AM on June 24, 2006


This post is worth it just for elwoodwiles' videos
posted by papakwanz at 10:25 AM on June 24, 2006


On the subject of strict grammarians insisting that you never end a sentence with a preposition: "That is something up with which I shall not put!" - Churchill (apocryphal)
posted by papakwanz at 10:26 AM on June 24, 2006


At least I'm sober this morning.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:31 AM on June 24, 2006


there's a famous winston churchill quote that i couldn't find (yet), wherein he says something like: "holy fuck, this is an idiotic post. i say to the poster of this utter tripe: pistols at dawn."
posted by Hat Maui at 10:34 AM on June 24, 2006


The trouble with this arguement is I'm just not certain who is the civilized and who is the barbarian in this particular conflict.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:34 AM on June 24, 2006


Since we are looking to history for wisdom let's not forget that:
"Winston Churchill felt that poison gas was just right for use against "uncivilized tribes" of Kurds and Afghans. A disarmament convention in 1932 sought to ban the bombing of civilians, but Britain's Lloyad George insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers."
posted by 2sheets at 10:37 AM on June 24, 2006



posted by yonation at 10:38 AM on June 24, 2006


When you twist words, the words die and then they no longer exist...
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:50 AM on June 24, 2006


Hope is HOT emo!
posted by papakwanz at 11:07 AM on June 24, 2006


We had to destroy the village in order to save it.
posted by klarck at 11:44 AM on June 24, 2006


There is nothing wrong with single-link posts.

There is something wrong with this tripe:

In the 21st century, however, there is something that our society values more than our own lives — and more than the survival of civilization itself. That something may be described as the kind of moral superiority that comes from a good wallow in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, CIA interrogations or Guantanamo Bay. Morally superior people — Western elites — never "humiliate" prisoners, never kill civilians, never torture or incarcerate jihadists. Indeed, they would like to kill, I mean, prosecute, or at least tie the hands of, anyone who does. This, of course, only enhances their own moral superiority. But it doesn't win wars. And it won't save civilization.

Why not? Because such smugness masks a massive moral paralysis. The morally superior (read: paralyzed) don't really take sides, don't really believe one culture is qualitatively better or worse than the other. They don't even believe one culture is just plain different from the other. Only in this atmosphere of politically correct and perpetually adolescent non-judgmentalism could anyone believe, for example, that compelling, forcing or torturing a jihadist terrorist to get information to save a city undermines our "values" in any way. It undermines nothing — except the jihad.

posted by languagehat at 11:58 AM on June 24, 2006


Churchill approved of using gas and chemical weapons in Iraq.
Because an enemy who has perpetuated every conceivable barbarity is at present unable, through his ignorance, to manufacture poison gas, is that any reason why our troops should be prevented from taking full advantage of their weapons?
posted by kirkaracha at 12:03 PM on June 24, 2006


Mahalo, Languagehat

This may not be the place for the discussion, but I didn't really post this op-ed link to have it bashed. I come here to get some different perspectives -- I mean, it is just too easy for us here to trash the piece.

What I would like to know is if there are any good signs that we will not be seeing/hearing this kind of reasoning picked up in the MSM (and bushites) -- and, more to the point, eagerly accepted by the 'middle in a muddle'.

I hate being pessimistic -- sometimes I feel I need to just find a monestary and live out the looming 'dark ages' of this millenium copying manuscripts by hand.
posted by Surfurrus at 12:15 PM on June 24, 2006


I guess the O'Reilly/Faux News/Moonie Times approach is now to degrade WW2, a war declared in reaction to one sovereign nation invading another, to the level of Iraq, a "war" to support the invasion of one sovereign nation by another.
posted by clevershark at 12:23 PM on June 24, 2006


The first French Republic aside, who on God's modern green earth ever imagined a head being hacked off the human body before we were confronted with Islamic jihad?

Medieval and early modern England, and that's just a quick one off the top of my head. I guess it's an important tactic, when putting forward an ignorant, morally repugnant and indefensible argument, to ignore any and all historical precedents that contradict said argument.

And what the fsck is the author's point anyway? That it's time for US forces to start hacking heads off too because the other guy is doing it?
posted by clevershark at 12:31 PM on June 24, 2006


I can't beleive anybody can compare the current situation to WWII with a straight face. Military/Insustrial/Economic superpowers with radically different ideologies is the same as a few hundred thousand shadowy individuals facing off against the biggest superpowers ever to exist in history?

As has been said before, this is a war of ideas, and the West is loosing, because it's trying to fight the wrong people.
posted by Rusty Iron at 12:50 PM on June 24, 2006


It is on the right-hand page of a book by or about Winston Churchill, and it is a quotation by Churchill on the subject of war. Specifically, what happens to a civilized society when it goes to war with a barbarous one. I can't find it (yet), but what I remember as being the main point was that if the civilized society is to prevail over the barbarous one, it will necessarily and tragically be degraded by the experience as a vital cost of victory.

which is why a civilized society should be very careful of where and why they choose to battle barbarous ones

In the 21st century, however, there is something that our society values more than our own lives — and more than the survival of civilization itself. That something may be described as the kind of moral superiority that comes from a good wallow in the art of suicide bombing, the sexual indiscretions of other people, and the undemocratic and anti-Western rhetoric and actions of those people overseas who despise us for our comfortable way of life, our riches, and our belief that they, too, could be fulfilled if only they lived in the suburbs with two SUVs in the garage and worked in air conditioned offices.

there ... i've corrected that for you, diana
posted by pyramid termite at 12:54 PM on June 24, 2006


Well, too bad certain people didn't stumble upon this Churchill quote :

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

And it's especially bad that Tony Blair didn't remind George Bush of this Churchill quote:

One day President Roosevelt told me that he was asking publicly for suggestions about what the war should be called. I said at once 'The Unnecessary War'.

... y'know... if we're talking about Churchill quotes :)
posted by kaemaril at 1:08 PM on June 24, 2006


Reminds me of this from Glenn Greenwald's blog: Time to stop feeling guilty and start really bombing
posted by homunculus at 1:11 PM on June 24, 2006


I guess the O'Reilly/Faux News/Moonie Times approach is now to degrade WW2, a war declared in reaction to one sovereign nation invading another, to the level of Iraq, a "war" to support the invasion of one sovereign nation by another.
If you think about it, there has long been a certain level of hostility, if you will, on the part of some on the right toward the whole WWII ethos. That whole "greatest generation" thing sort of seems to stick in their craw a bit. I think it has to do, in part, that it was Roosevelt's war, and Roosevelt is as much a monster to them as Clinton was...perhaps more so, thanks to the New Deal.
I think they wish to water-down the importance of WWII in favor of enshrining their own great patriotic world war and their own greatest american leader.
It's all part of the re-writing of history. That whole New American Century thing.
{removes foil hat and pours a cold one}
posted by Thorzdad at 1:19 PM on June 24, 2006


If you think about it, there has long been a certain level of hostility, if you will, on the part of some on the right toward the whole WWII ethos. That whole "greatest generation" thing sort of seems to stick in their craw a bit. I think it has to do, in part, that it was Roosevelt's war, and Roosevelt is as much a monster to them as Clinton was...perhaps more so, thanks to the New Deal.

Haven't really seen any classic Roosevelt quotes regarding the Iraq War from the Right, it's always Churchill. Even the most classic and apt Roosevelt quotes don't really get any play. This is at least one reason why the war has always seemed a partisan thing to me. It's almost like the war was a ritual reenactment of WWII, but without FDR. Saddam as Hitler references, greeting us as liberators, so many references/symbols from WWII were invoked, but seldom did I hear anything regarding FDR. They must really hate FDR.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 1:45 PM on June 24, 2006


At an elegant dinner party, Lady Astor once leaned across the table to remark, "If you were my husband, Winston, I'd poison your coffee."
"And if you were my wife, I'd beat the shit out of you," came Churchill's unhesitating retort.

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:54 PM on June 24, 2006


From the piece:

I think most people would still say of course not and argue that such destructive measures were necessary to save civilization itself

Not "necessary" ... we would have brought Germany and Japan to utter defeat without Dresden or the a-bombs on Japan, but it was a simple question of marginal costs (at least in the strategic bombing of Japan) -- and, more importantly, who was going to be paying these costs over the extra year or two that bringing the militarists to the hangman's justice would require.

The reason our tactics worked in WW2 was that the defeated peoples -- Germans and Japanese -- could accept the outcome ... they were utterly isolated from any favorable world opinion.

Neocon wingnuts think they can wipe out 1 billion or so people on this planet ... nutballs, all of them, the US case for its fight with the islamists is not so compelling.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:56 PM on June 24, 2006


The delineation between civilized and barbarous cultures can often preclude the need for armed conflict.

Our culture is a weapon. We should be dropping iPods and Louis Vuitton bags on the Middle East - not bombs.
posted by wfrgms at 2:19 PM on June 24, 2006


It's an interesting question she proposes.

Can you be too 'civilized' given a certain definition of civilized as constraining your behaviour according to certain rules, to hold your own against other parties that are not 'civilized' according to the same definition?

I think the answer is yes.

I do not think the US are too civilized to hold their own.

I used to wonder wether the Netherlands with their culture of trying to resolve anything by bilateral talks (poldermodel) were.

But then for centuries we've compared current times to the decadence that preceded the fall of the Roman Empire.
posted by jouke at 2:22 PM on June 24, 2006


We must destroy, kill, and torture, because if we do not, they will destroy, kill, and torture.

When did we fall through the looking glass?
posted by Jatayu das at 2:39 PM on June 24, 2006


The morally superior (read: paralyzed) don't really take sides, don't really believe one culture is qualitatively better or worse than the other. They don't even believe one culture is just plain different from the other.

What a presumptive, stupid thing to say.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 5:17 PM on June 24, 2006


My own personal favorite Winston Churchill quote:

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
posted by EarBucket at 5:19 PM on June 24, 2006


They really should knock it off with the World War II comparisons, because they aren't flattering. Making up reasons to attack a country, like Germany did to Poland. Preemptively attacking a country you think you'll have to fight eventually so they don't get stronger later, like Japan at Pearl Harbor.

And the villains don't even come clsoe to comparing. Saddam Hussein was a two-bit dictator, not even Mussolini level.

Maybe they're just bad with historical analogies. The other day President Bush compared Iraq to the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. Hmm...the citizens of an occupied country rose up against the occupying army and its uppet government. We are not the good guys in that situation. You'd think Preisdent Bush would know better, being a history major and all.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:44 PM on June 24, 2006


Ok, the link to the Mr. Mike article has redeemed this post.
posted by 2sheets at 7:14 PM on June 24, 2006


People should notice that the article also has an ad for the new race-baiting film "Islam: What the West Should Know." This link is really nothing more than pure propaganda. When Churchill brought England in the war, it was for defense, not imaginary offense. Our campaigns in Muslim countries document a kind of nation-building that would be altogether alien to Churchill - were he alive to see it. But a startling thing the author of the piece fails to note is that Churchill ultimately became a liability to the Conservative Party in Britain because of the inability on his own part to understand that empires, like men, do not last forever. Churchill was instrumental in the destruction of a 1,000-year reich, but could could get that his own glorious Britannic empire was caving in around him.
posted by parmanparman at 9:43 PM on June 24, 2006


Medieval and early modern England, and that's just a quick one off the top of my head.


Right on CleverShark. The authors of the OpEd piece obviousy weren't at school the day they covered everything that happened before 1780.

Being behaded was one of the more pleasant fates in Merry Olde England... and even then today's Islamofascists are not so barbarous as to quarter the body and put the head a pike.
When the "barbarous" Islamofascists start breaking people at the wheel, give me a call. Until then I laugh at their pathetic attempts to achieve Western levels of barbarism.
posted by three blind mice at 10:53 PM on June 24, 2006


Who in the civilized world before Hitler had ever imagined killing 6 million people?

Uh - Stalin?
posted by Football Bat at 11:32 PM on June 24, 2006


I didn't really post this op-ed link to have it bashed

Life is just one fucking disappointment after another, isn't it?

This is a ridiculous editorial. "Winston Churchill said something which I'm too lazy to look up, but which totally validates my position." I really can't begin to fathom why people take that Moonie rag seriously. If we must have pointless political debates here, I'd love to have more intelligent conservative thought make it's way to MeFi — but this is neither intelligent nor conservative, it's just plain fucking dumb. And Einstein completely agrees with me, only I can't be bothered to find the cite.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:33 PM on June 24, 2006


'Its!' I meant 'its!' Argh.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:34 PM on June 24, 2006


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