Churchill on the Middle East

Churchill on the Middle East

Churchill By Him­self, p. 437: “The Mid­dle East is one of the hard­est-heart­ed areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major pow­er has estab­lished firm influ­ence and shown that it would main­tain its will. Your friends must be sup­ported with every vigour and if nec­es­sary they must be avenged. Force, or per­haps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respect­ed. It is very sad, but we had all bet­ter recog­nise it. At present our friend­ship is not val­ued, and our enmi­ty is not feared.”
(Lon­don, 1958. Antho­ny Mon­tague Browne, Long Sun­set, 166–67.)

Regard­ing the false “suc­cess” quotes incor­rectly ascribed to both Lin­coln and Churchill, a col­league writes: “I love it that Churchill quotes have now fused with Lincoln’s. In anoth­er ten years they will all merge with George W. Bush if we’re not careful.”

Umm. But Churchill was unnat­u­rally pes­simistic about the Mid­dle East (above), while Bush was an opti­mist,  insist­ing that even in the Mid­dle East, peo­ple yearn for democ­racy and freedom.

So there’s a long-shot that Bush’s take might make the ranks of the immor­tals. But I’m not bet­ting on it.

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