Sporadically, pundits compare Donald Trump with Winston Churchill. There’s even a book coming out on the subject. I deprecate all this by instinct and will avoid that book like the Coronavirus. Surface similarities may exist: both said or say mainly what they thought or think, unfiltered by polls (and sometimes good advice). But Churchill’s language and thought were on a higher plane. Still, when a friend said that Churchill never stooped to derisive nicknames like Trump, I had to disagree.
Whether invented by the President or his scriptwriters, some of Trump’s nicknames were very effective.…
In our electronic Speaker’s Corner (the Internet), Winston Churchill is beset by haters. Their knee-jerk spouts are laced with out-of-context quotes and preconceived notions. Call it Churchill Derangement Syndrome. Where is the truth? Perhaps we need a Derangement Index. Click on “A” for Aryan Supremacy, “B” for the Bengal Famine, etc. A handy reference to every derangement you can access with a couple of clicks.
How great was Atatürk? The question came up examining Turkish attitudes to Churchill, which one might expect would be hostile. In 1914, Churchill’s Admiralty denied Turkey two battleships being built in Britain as World War I erupted. In 1915, Churchill pushed hard (though did not conceive of) the attacks on the Dardanelles and Gallipoli. (See also “comments” on this post from thoughtful Turks.)
One historian speculated that Churchill mirrored the courage and resourcefulness of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk). Another said there “might be a lingering impression that Churchill had helped save Turkey from the red menace by his resistance to Russian demands on the Dardanelles Straits—of course it was Harry Truman who did the heavy lifting there [through the Truman Doctrine]”
The Turks have abundant reasons to feel positive toward Churchill, aside from his personal courage, and his post-1945 resistance to Soviet designs on the Dardanelles (when he was out of office and powerless).…