Tag: Rudyard Kipling

Boris, Racism, Imperialism, and “The Road to Mandalay”

Boris, Racism, Imperialism, and “The Road to Mandalay”

Prime Min­is­ters are always pop­u­lar tar­gets. Boris John­son, Britain’s new PM, wears the bulls­eye over there now. For every­thing from domes­tic squab­bling to “insen­si­tiv­i­ty” in recit­ing “The Road to Man­dalay” on a vis­it to Myan­mar (for­mer­ly known as Bur­ma). In the immor­tal words of Richard Nixon, let us say this about that.

* * * * * “I appoint­ed [Lord Roberts] Com­man­der-in-Chief in India when I was Sec­re­tary of State. That was the year I annexed Bur­ma. The place was in utter anar­chy. They were just butcher­ing one anoth­er. We had to step in, and very soon there was an ordered, civ­i­lized Gov­ern­ment under the vig­i­lant con­trol of the House of Com­mons.” There was a sort of glare in his eyes as he said “House of Com­mons.”  —Lord Ran­dolph Churchill to Win­ston Churchill in The Dream, 1947 Mandalay as Dog Whistle Gen­er­al­ly speak­ing nowa­days, we deem paeans to the British Empire impe­ri­al­ist, racist twad­dle.…

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All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (2)

All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said (2)

“A”Red Her­rings”: Fake Churchill Quotes (or things he said quot­ing some­one else), con­tin­ued from Part 1.…  Com­piled for the next expand­ed edi­tion of Churchill by Him­self. Chap­ter ref­er­ences are to cur­rent edi­tions of that book.

“If you’re going through hell, keep going” is the most com­mon coun­ter­feit. Heard by every­one from pres­i­dents to comics, it is sheer fantasy—Churchill wasn’t giv­en to such redun­dan­cy. What’s your favorite among these Red Her­rings? Mine is the one about golf, which I expe­ri­enced per­son­al­ly before I wise­ly gave it up.

Fanatic – Free Lunch

Fanat­ic: A fanat­ic is some­one who won’t change his mind, and won’t change the sub­ject.…

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Pearl Harbor +75: All in the Same Boat. Still.

Pearl Harbor +75: All in the Same Boat. Still.

A slight­ly extend­ed ver­sion of my piece on Pearl Har­bor: “How, 75 years ago today, we were saved,” in The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor, 7 Decem­ber 2016….

Sev­en­ty-five years ago today, Win­ston Churchill was pon­der­ing sur­vival. Hitler gripped Europe from France to deep inside Rus­sia. Nazi U-boats were stran­gling British ship­ping; Rommel’s Afri­ka Korps was advanc­ing on Suez. Britain’s only ally beside the Empire/Commonwealth, the Red Army, was fight­ing before Moscow. Amer­i­ca remained supportive…and aloof.

Eigh­teen months ear­li­er he had become prime min­is­ter. No one else had want­ed the task. “God alone knows how great it is,” he mut­tered, his eyes fill­ing.…

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