Friday, March 05, 2004

On March 5, Fulton

A certain ex Head of Government, who only a year previously was the leader of a nation victorious war, defined the next great ideological conflict of the modern age. In the "Iron Curtain" speech. As I mentioned elsewhere I fundamentally believe that the threat we face today is of the same character as threats of Nazism and Communism. Some of the more specific points Churchill raised that spring day are, of course, no longer relevant. Other passages though remain entirely applicable to the situation in the world today.

In particular I pick out short passages. The first refers to the then nascent United Nations Organisation:

We must make sure that its work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a frothing of words, that it is a true temple of peace in which the shields of many nations can some day be hung up, and not merely a cockpit in a Tower of Babel. Before we cast away the solid assurances of national armaments for self-preservation we must be certain that our temple is built, not upon shifting sands or quagmires, but upon the rock.

Unfortunately it seems that all too many of Winston Churchill's fears proved well-founded. We are still searching for that sure foundation, for the "rock" upon which an effective UNO can be built.

My second passage is this:

What then is the over-all strategic concept which we should inscribe today? It is nothing less than the safety and welfare, the freedom and progress, of all the homes and families of all the men and women in all the lands.


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