“A Century Ago, the Modern Middle East Was Born,” announced The New York Times in December. A colleague asks: “Are you not struck by how difficult (impossible?) it is to encapsulate history in an op-ed? Is that really how and when the modern Middle East was born?”
Good questions. The Times’s idea is that after World War I, avaricious imperialists moved in to enslave Turkey’s former slaves. This familiar theme will dominate through the centenary of the Cairo Conference in March 2021. It’s been around at least since 2001, when Osama bin Laden referred to 9/11 as payback for what he then called “eighty years of injustice.”
Herewith some contrarian, revisionist and politically incorrect thoughts.…
Somewhere east of Ottawa, a special train bore the Prime Minister of Great Britain toward Washington. He had been in Canada to address Parliament. His most memorable lines came as he spoke of the French in 1940:
When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone, whatever they did, their generals told their prime minister and his divided cabinet, “In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.” Some chicken! … Some neck.
To Churchillian colleagues, and most of all those who have encouraged and supported our Churchill work at Hillsdale College so many years: thank-you for being our friends.
Washington, 24 December 1941
“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter… Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.…