Tag: Osama bin Laden

Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

Alistair Cooke: An Introduction and an Appreciation

My pre­vi­ous note was about Alis­tair Cooke on Churchill in 1930s. I now reprise my intro­duc­tion to his speech, and a per­son­al epi­logue. Sir Alistair’s speech, at the Mount Wash­ing­ton Hotel, Bret­ton Woods, 27 August 1988, is avail­able by email. RML

Sir Alistair Cooke KBE

When, in what we must regard as a stroke of bril­liance, we thought to invite Sir Alis­tair Cooke to talk about Win­ston Churchill, we wrote him with trep­i­da­tion. We were told he had a rep­u­ta­tion for being very hard to get. To our delight, he defied the odds. “This is the time of year when I turn down every­thing,” he wrote.…

Read More Read More

Avaricious Imperialists or Nation Builders? The Middle East, 100 Years On

Avaricious Imperialists or Nation Builders? The Middle East, 100 Years On

Middle East, Made and Unmade

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.…

Read More Read More

Mosul and Churchill’s Wisdom: Put a Lid on It!

Mosul and Churchill’s Wisdom: Put a Lid on It!

Churchill’s wis­dom speaks to us across the years. Take the con­tro­ver­sy of whether we blab too much in advance about mil­i­tary oper­a­tions, like Mosul.

In the Octo­ber 19th pres­i­den­tial debate, Mr. Trump said the U.S. and Iraqis for­feit­ed “the ele­ment of sur­prise” in pub­li­ciz­ing the com­ing offen­sive against Mosul. This, he insist­ed, allowed Islam­ic State ring­lead­ers to remove them­selves from the dan­ger zone: “Dou­glas MacArthur, George Pat­ton [must be] spin­ning in their graves when they see the stu­pid­i­ty of our coun­try.” Ear­li­er in the week he had asked: “Why don’t we just go in qui­et­ly, right?…

Read More Read More

RML Books

Richard Langworth’s Most Popular Books & eBooks