Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bush As Churchill?

At the RNC Convention, former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani sought to align dunce Bush with the massive figure of Churchill:

He compared Bush to British wartime leader Winston Churchill, assuring more than 2,500 delegates that the president "will remain consistent in the purpose of defeating terrorism while working to make us safer at home."

This struck me as odd for a couple of reasons.

First, upon the close of the (second world ) war in Europe, Churchill got his arse handed to him in an election. He was de-Prime Ministered, as it were, while already in Potsdam - working out post-war agreements with Stalin and Truman. Not a wonderful sendoff for the 'war hero'. In this case I do hope that Bush takes after Churchill.

Second, Churchill was an unapologetic racist, and quite possibly a mass murderer. Among his other exploits are the gassing of the Kurds in Iraq (yes, those Kurds, and yes, that same Iraq, and yes, gas, chemical weapons, the whole enchilada), and the deliberate nonresponse to the Great Bengal Famine of 1943 which left at least 2.5 million dead. So, I don't think we can quite put Bush up on that same Churchillian pedestal just yet - but you never know what can happen if Bush gets another four years.

Thus far, Bush has proved wonderfully efficient in the indiscriminate killing of Iraqi civilians by the thousands, using assorted aerial bombing tactics. It's not exactly chemical weapons, but it is an admirable start for any aspiring tyrant. And Bush has effectively ignored the ongoing famine/genocide in Sudan - even when his editors at the WaPost are telling him to sit up and take notice. One editorial even tells Bush to at least act like he wants to do something, even if he doesn't give a sh*t, to save himself politically. Now that's a ballsy call, even for a psycho wingnut editorial writer!

Churchill the racist:
"I do not admit...that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia...by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race...has come in and taken its place"
- Churchill to Palestine Royal Commission, 1937.

Churchill the chemical weapons expert:
"I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using [it] against uncivilised tribes."
- Churchill, Secretary of State, British War Office, 1919, authorising use of chemical weapons against Iraqis.

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