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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Today's Churchill - the kind of leadership it will take to win



In 1920, as Secretary for War and Air, Churchill had responsibility for quelling the rebellion of Kurds and Arabs in British-occupied Iraq, which he achieved by authorising the use of poison gas. At the time he wrote, "I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes" -

The development of the battle tank was financed from naval research funds via the Landships Committee, and, although a decade later development of the battle tank would be seen as a stroke of genius, at the time it was seen as misappropriation of funds. The tank was deployed too early and in too few numbers, much to Churchill's annoyance. He wanted a fleet of tanks used to surprise the Germans under cover of smoke, and to open a large section of the trenches by crushing barbed wire and creating a breakthrough sector.

In 1910, Churchill was promoted to Home Secretary, where he was to prove somewhat controversial. A famous photograph from the time shows the impetuous Churchill taking personal charge of the January 1911 Sidney Street Siege, peering around a corner to view a gun battle between cornered anarchists and Scots Guards. His role attracted much criticism. The building under siege caught fire. Churchill denied the fire brigade access, forcing the criminals to choose surrender or death.

He denigrated the father of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, as "a half-naked fakir" who "ought to be laid, bound hand and foot, at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back"

the only noticeable action was at sea. Churchill advocated the pre-emptive occupation of the neutral Norwegian iron-ore port of Narvik and the iron mines in Kiruna, Sweden, early in the War. However, Chamberlain and the rest of the War Cabinet disagreed, and the operation was delayed until the German invasion of Norway, which was successful despite British efforts.

Churchill, breaking with tradition, did not send Chamberlain a message expressing regret over his resignation. [7]

In response to previous criticisms that there had been no clear single minister in charge of the prosecution of the war, Churchill created and took the additional position of Minister of Defence. He immediately put his friend and confidant, the industrialist and newspaper baron Lord Beaverbrook, in charge of aircraft production. It was Beaverbrook's astounding business acumen that allowed Britain to quickly gear up aircraft production and engineering that eventually made the difference in the war.

The settlement concerning the borders of Poland, that is, the boundary between Poland and the Soviet Union and between Germany and Poland, was viewed as a betrayal in Poland during the post-war years, as it was established against the views of the Polish government in exile. Churchill was convinced that the only way to alleviate tensions between the two populations was the transfer of people, to match the national borders. As he expounded in the House of Commons in 1944, "Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and lasting. There will be no mixture of populations to cause endless trouble... A clean sweep will be made. I am not alarmed by these transferences, which are more possible in modern conditions."
Often criticized, in the end Churchill not only proved prophetic... he more importantly proved to be right, willing to embrace ruthless tactics in a greater cause and to conduct a resilient campaign against the enemy using innovative tactics. It will not take another "compassionate conservative" to win the War on Terror but one whose compassion is singularly directed in the appropriate direction and who understands not only what it takes to win a war but how.

1 comments:

Yobeeone said...

Cool!!! This post should create some interesting debates. LOL

Churchill's method of distributing the population has always worked throughout history, too bad it's ignored today.

I also love his method of dealing with barbarians. We could end the muzlim quest for world domination if we'd only put his idea to work.

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