Letter sent to
Government Art Collection on 20/10/04. A response will be published if I ever
Isn’t it a
contradiction that although the ‘war on terror’ is often described as ‘a
different kind of war’ - every time there is a justification for pre-emptive
action, George Bush and Tony Blair invoke Winston Churchill (1874 -1965).
This year alone notable comparisons include New York Mayor Guiliani who likens
George Bush to Churchill. George Bush who likens Tony Blair to Churchill
see the spirit of Churchill in Prime Minister Tony Blair.”
Tony Blair who asks the British nation to unite behind him, comparing recent set
backs in Iraq to the darkest days of World War 2. Even Tory party leader Michael
Howard has jumped on the bandwagon comparing himself to Churchill. So where did
it all start?
George W. Bush was sworn into office on January 20th 2001 as the 43rd President of the United States. Six months later in an unprecedented act by the British Government. Tony Blair loaned a Bust of Winston Churchill from the Government Art Collection to George Bush for the duration of his term of office. The Bust now sits in the Oval Office of the White House.
During the official ceremony on July 16th 2001, President Bush thanked the British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer saying,
think I casually mentioned to the Ambassador, right after my swearing-in, that I
lamented the fact that there was not a proper bust of Winston Churchill for me to put in the Oval
Office. He's a man of great action, because here sits a bust on loan from Her
Majesty's government, that I accept gratefully; and will place right here, where
the flowers are, beneath one of my favourite West Texas paintings. I accept
gratefully and I look forward to looking at Sir Winston on a daily basis.”
that day, 2 months prior to the September 11th tragedy there have
been numerous references to Churchill and many references to the Churchill Bust.
In a speech to the Library of Congress, February 2004, the Presidents begins
always been a great admirer of Sir Winston Churchill, admirer of his career,
admirer of his strength, admirer of his character -- so much so that I keep a
stern-looking bust of Sir Winston in the Oval Office. He watches my every
The icon, held in such reverence, was sculptured by Jacob Epstein in 1946 and is just one of an edition. When asked about the ‘unprecedented’ nature of the gift, a spokesperson from the offices of the Government Art Collection replied.
“The sculpture remains a part of
the Government Art Collection, and its display in the Whitehouse (like any
other work we have in any location) is not a permanent arrangement. The
works of art in the GAC are not disposable assets, and we do not use the
Collection as presents or gifts…
I suppose that the only sense in which the loan is
"unprecedented" is that the works of art in the Government Art
Collection are almost exclusively used for display in British Government
buildings to promote Britain and reflect our history, culture and achievements
in the visual arts. So the loan of the work to the Whitehouse is
unorthodox and outside our usual remit.”
When further questions were asked about the asked
about the standard protocol and exceptions the department failed to clarify its
position. How Tony Blair acquired this national treasure for George Bush remains
Part of the purpose of this letter is to resolve
the mystery, but this may only become apparent toward the end.
On January 31st 2003, The Scotsman
reported further Churchill related gifts for the President.
present, valued at $375 (£206), is listed as a "Churchill Presentation
Box", including a "Churchill" pen, a bottle of ink, a cigar and a
small book of Churchill quotations; held in a green leatherette case with gold
Several other gifts were exchanged on this
occasion but as James Kirkup points out
US government rules, all gifts to US officials from foreign nationals must be
reported and, if they are retained by the recipient, a reason given.
The US State Department records for the Blair’s’ gifts to the President and the First Lady state simply: Non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and US government”
might be trivial but its safe to assume that George Bush and Tony Blair share a
mutual admiration for Winston Churchill both in public and in private.
recent years researchers of ancestry have claimed that George Bush is actually a
distant relative of Winston Churchill - the link in the chain being Henry
Spencer (1420–1478) of Badby, Northhamptonshire.
Dick Eastman of Ancestry.com writes
“George W. Bush and his father, the former president, have long been known to have royal ancestry. Gary Boyd Roberts, a genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and one of the foremost authorities on the royal ancestry of American presidents, notes that Bush is descended from British royalty going as far back as 12th century King Henry I, the son of William the Conqueror.”
However, obscure the research is – if George Bush is related to Winston
Churchill? It can’t be denied that in some vague way he is related to
Churchill’s mother, Lady
Randolph formerly Jennie Jerome an American heiress.
Randolph was a powerful friend of the creator of the bust, Jacob Epstein. In
1918 Lady Randolph used her influence to save Epstein from the trenches of World
In early April 1918, Epstein was a desperate man. During convalescence from the war, he set about securing his release from hell. He began by writing to his influential acquaintance Lady Randolph, pleading with her to persuade her son Winston and Lord Beaverbrook to save him from returning to the battlefield. Epstein’s suggested his talents could better utilised for propaganda purposes.
Beaverbrook swiftly replied to Lady Randolph’s enquiry, apologising for being unsuccessful in attaining him a position with “upstairs services.” However, Beaverbrook continued in his efforts by approaching the War Office.
In further correspondence with Lady Randolph, Epstein says he is in “despair”, he urgently requests that she do “anything” to save him.
On April 14th 1918, twelve days after the original enquiry Epstein finally wrote to Lady Randolph that he was to remain in England. However, he still regarded himself as “rotting away in the ranks” and pleaded with her to help him utilise his talents for propaganda purposes. Little would Epstein have known, that his dream would be fulfilled nearly a century later?
Of course question marks still loom over whether George Bush used powerful influences to escape combat duties in Vietnam. But he can be sure that through Epstein he is under the spell of a man that would have every-sympathy. Epstein was not a conscientious objector like Muhammad Ali for instance who claimed, ‘no Vietnamese ever called me a nigger’ - he was in fear of his life and he viewed the carnage of war with revulsion – it was this revulsion that became expressed in many of his later works.
Jacob Epstein (1880 – 1959) like Lady Randolph was American by birth. Born in New York of Russian and Polish parents, he was fascinated by humankind and the variety of cultures. It’s believed that, it was a trip to the British Museum in London in 1905 that convinced him to up-route from Paris where he had been studying, in order to locate to London. Two years later Epstein became a British citizen.
As one of the leading artists of the twentieth century – Jacob Epstein’s sculptures were frequently regarded, as representations of religious themes. The purpose was to express emotions beyond what can be seen. He provoked his primitive instincts to express the human struggle through his art. And it was the primitive art and culture of the Middle East and South America that were his greatest influence.
Epstein was also a great collector of art from the continent. It’s reasonable to assume from this, that he was probably familiar with the Islamic, Christian and Jewish affairs of the time. He was a pioneer in his field influencing the likes of Henry Moore and those that followed. The primitive style of Epstein challenged the post-renaissance western imagery of his day and in 1959 he was rewarded for his efforts with a Knighthood.
Of the many works Epstein created one of his best known is the Memorial Tomb of Oscar Wilde in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery Paris 1912.
Though a better model for the appreciation of Epstein’s work is the alabaster sculpture of Jacob and the Angel 1940-1.
In the Old Testament Jacob wrestles throughout the night with a mysterious adversary. In the sculpture - the Angel holds Jacob who has finally buckled dislocating a thigh in the struggle. Epstein captures Jacob at the point of realisation that he has been struggling with God. In the morning he’s blessed by the Angel for his refusal to give up. The representation by Epstein has been regarded as both a personal struggle with base instincts as well as a cultural struggle, particularly the plight of European Jews at the time of the Second World War.
Though Epstein was Jewish himself, he is likely to have had an above average understanding of Islam and cultural codes of behaviour. He would probably have understood that Muslims do not regard Islam as a replacement for Christianity, more the updated version of it.
“We believe in Allah and (in) that which
has been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael
and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Moses and
Jesus, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not
make any distinction between any of them and to Him do we submit”
Epstein was probably aware that his depiction of Jacob would be equally representative of Islamic struggle. To strive and to struggle morally, mentally and physically to make God’s word supreme in Islam is signified by the word Jihad. In many ways the struggle itself is what Epstein tries to reveal throughout his work. When the President contemplates the “stern look” of the Churchill Bust in the Oval Office, in some ways he does so in the spirit of Epstein’s Jihad.
When Ayatollah Khomeini called America ‘the great Satan’, he wasn’t speaking of a Devil with horns. He was speaking of the Devil manifested in temptation. Feats undertaken, for the sake of money, prestige, power or anything else for that matter are regarded in Islam as failure in the struggle to contemplate He that never changes and just is God (Allah). One who is happy with worldly success is equally unhappy without it. One who struggles against base appetites and contemplates God is enriched by Him. The struggle or Jihad is above any consideration of reward. In many ways the concept is a variation of the Christian concept of Sin, temptation and the Devil. (“The Great Satan”)
Fundamentalist versions of this struggle involve ‘fighting for the sake of Allah.’ But there is a distinction in what is regarded as a “just” fight. Those who fight for glorification, superiority, or for exploitation of the weak are regarded as friends of the Devil.
“And dispute you not with the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury). But say: We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you: our God and your God is One: and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)” – (Qur’an 29:46)
The al-Qaida attacks of 9-11 are condemned by most Muslim’s not just for the unnecessary carnage and suffering caused but also the pre-emptive nature of the action said to be in the name of God (Allah) against individuals that had inflicted no ‘wrong’ or ‘injury’ to Islam. Not only this, Osama Bin Laden could be condemned for his action because he has ‘glorified’ himself higher than his cause.
Islam means ‘submission’ and ‘peace’ which is the opposite of any consequences al-Qaida provoked. At a time when Islam was spreading peacefully throughout the world the attacks on September the 11th have divided future converts from their destiny - the only thing that has spread since that day in 2001 is fundamentalism in the form of war mongers, the fighting has eclipsed the cause.
Bin Laden might of course reply that the attack on the World Trade Centre was a direct attack on the Devil himself, not an attack on individuals. The attack against the US was provoked by attacks both, physically, by the presence of troops in Islamic holy lands, and morally in the form of temptation that corrupts any effort to find God.
The reaction of George Bush in handling the crises has put him in a similar position to Bin Laden and provoked worldwide anti-Americanism. Though Donald Rumsfield denies any relation between the Twin Towers atrocity and pulling troops out from Saudi in 2003; his pre-emptive attacks on Islamic countries with no regard for the innocent has caused worldwide condemnation.
The problem is, that in engaging in those actions he has ignorantly invoked a basis for what fundamentalist Muslims would regard as a “just” war.
For example - until the US invasion, Iraq had a brutal dictator but the people were moderate in their interpretations of Jihad. Immediately victory was declared by the US and the intention made clear that America would unilaterally remain to reorganise Iraqi Government and reconstruction, the struggle (Jihad) became more ferocious. The political war became a religious war and not just isolated to Iraq. It’s not just the devastation caused by the war that has increased the insurgence its ignorance of why people such as the Ayatollah believed America to be the Great Satan.
Is anybody surprised at the reaction? I doubt it. Is it irresponsible for the United States and Britain to believe that they would be seen as Liberators - Probably, by comparison, it would be equally absurd to imagine Ayatollah Khomeini advocating the American Dream?
“We shall defend our
island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight
on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we
shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”
Islam doesn’t do seduction. And neither does Jacob Epstein.
It was after the War in 1946 that Churchill was able to do the first sittings for Epstein. By this time Epstein lived across the road from him at Hyde Park Gate in London. In his autobiography Epstein remarks that Churchill gave “three somewhat restless sittings” followed by three more at Chartwell. But Epstein was far from happy.
“Unfortunately it was winter and the light far from ideal and I felt that I had made no more than an interesting character study, but still hope to develop it should the opportunity arise.” Jacob Epstein
More proof perhaps that the Artist is represented in this particular Bust as much as the Subject.
By coincidence George W Bush was born in July1946 just a few months before the sculpture. By looking at relevant dates around the time of the birth of both George Bush and the Churchill Bust we get an amazing insight into the contemporary situation.
Following the horror of war, the countries that made up the continent of Europe were on the one hand determined to create a better more peaceful world. And on the other preparing for a further war with Russia.
In the United States discussions were underway to set up a Cabinet-level Department of Health and Education. In Britain the Welfare State was born. The National Health Service Act was passed in an effort to provide free health care for all. But there was a monster breathing down the neck of Europe in the form of Stalin’s Russia. A deep mistrust ensued and European and US, ‘hawks and doves’ were unsure of the approach to take in their suspicions of Stalin’s ambition.
On March 5th 1946 whilst baby George W Bush was still in the womb, Churchill was invited to speak at the unveiling of a statue in his honour by President Trueman at Westminster College, Fulton, USA. The speech did not only address Fulton, it sounded a warning that was heard around the world.
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent…” Winston Churchill
Prophecies against Hitler had previously gone unheeded but this time the whole world listened. On that very day Churchill and Trueman drew a line in the sand as to how far they would tolerate Stalin’s aspiration. The tough stand and tough talking was the origin of the ‘Cold War’ - and the "iron curtain" metaphor predicted the Berlin Wall, which was constructed in 1961 and remained for 28 years.
Post 9-11 George Bush and Tony Blair regarded themselves in the role of Churchill by predicting the danger of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction that could be unleashed within 45 minutes. The fools in modern France, Germany and Russia although having access to the same intelligence failed to see the threat. The failure to see the threat turns out to be because there never was a threat in the first place. But that doesn’t matter anyhow according to Bush and Blair, because if Saddam had access to such weapons he would have used them, like he did against the Kurds.
At a recent Labour Party conference a refugee Shanaz Rashid living in England for the past 20 years heaped praise on Tony Blair,
“Some of you may feel you can attack your leader over Iraq, but it is Mr Blair who has stood up to Saddam and freed my people, who for the past 35 years have suffered destruction, humiliation, chemical weapons attacks, poverty, torture and rape”
The conference fell silent at the horror of the account, but forgetful of the fact that at the time of these atrocities Saddam Hussein was actually backed by the British and Americans. Anti Saddam sentiment is a recent phenomenon.
Another to sit for Jacob Epstein just after the war was Pandit Nehru who in 1947 became the first Prime minister of India. Nehru was a close disciple of the Hindu holy man Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi had insisted that rivals to Nehru step aside and let him lead India in its newfound independence from British imperial rule.
Gandhi’s non-violent protest had confounded the British stranglehold on India. The brute strength of the whole Imperial Army was defeated by simple act of non co-operation. Churchill was incensed
"It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious middle temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the east, striding half-naked up the steps of the vice regal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a defiant campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of the king-emperor." Winston Churchill
Though Nelson Mandela may be a notable exception there is little sign of anyone picking up the gauntlet of Gandhi in Iraq or Afghanistan. In the modern age the Peacemaker is shot at from both sides. Martin Luther King was strongly influenced by Gandhi and murdered in the process, said of the Mahatma (great soul)
“If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable”
If Martin Luther King is right then where are the peacemakers?
This is not to say that anybody could expect George Bush to miraculously become Gandhi. But trying to capture Bin Laden has been akin to sending the riot police to catch ‘the invisible man’. It’s not the reaction in the name of justice that is questionable - it’s the strategy. Covert operations surely stand a better chance of success in tracking down International criminals? It’s possible that should another course of action been taken, Bin Laden would be facing the International Criminal Court and we would not be contemplating the Third World War.
The principles of an International Court were initially outlined in the Moscow Declaration of 1943, set out by Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Churchill had put aside differences with Stalin and as a result a War crimes commission was set up in London throughout 1944 to collate a list of war criminals and ways to deal with them.
The UN set up the modern equivalent with the promise of Universal justice for all and to ensure that
“No ruler, no State, no junta and no army anywhere can abuse human rights
with impunity” Kofi
Annan UN Secretary General
“The defence that the suspects were not aware of the law will not be permissible” Hans Corell, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs
Kofi Annan recently announced that the war in Iraq was illegal. It will be interesting to see if Tony Blair is pulled before the Court as a war criminal. I mention Blair as opposed to Bush because Bush cannot be brought before the Court – and neither can any US citizen.
Although the US helped set up the International Criminal Court and signed the treaty it never ratified it. The United States together with Israel and a few other exceptions is not within the jurisdiction of International Law. In other words they can do pretty much anything, including crimes against humanity
In a communication received on 6 May 2002, the Government of the United States of America informed the Secretary-General of the following:
"This is to inform you, in connection with the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court adopted on July 17, 1998, that the United States does not intend to become a party to the treaty. Accordingly, the United States has no legal obligations arising from its signature on December 31, 2000…"
“The price of greatness is responsibility” – Winston Churchill
not really surprising that many people find it contradictory to hear George Bush
talk of crimes of humanity. Maybe since the war was declared illegal he could be
tried in his absence. It’s not punishment or torture of George Bush that the
people of the world seek, its truth. Nobody is convinced of the Presidents
motive or justification. All we can gather is, ‘that he says he’s right,
because Churchill had been right on several occasions’. Churchill had also
been wrong on many occasions as many current wars can vouch.
“If one has to submit, it is wasteful not to do so
with the best grace possible” Winston Churchill
mistrust of Bush has gained momentum in the same way that mistrust had been
gained of Stalin.
only thing that surprised anybody about the US not finding any weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq is that they didn’t put some there to find. There are huge
doubts over the very man that controls the largest nuclear, chemical and
biological arsenal on the planet. At the local her’ say level suspicions
border on the point of fear that the Presidents security agents would use
terrorism on his own people to justify their International policy. The fact is -
that no matter how you manipulate what you say, if it doesn’t add up, it
doesn’t add up. And what Bush says, doesn’t add up verbally or verifiably.
so-called intelligence failures in predicting the International dangers of
Saddam have only added to the mistrust. Its one thing to watch a football game
live on TV and see everything as it happens, but another to watch the same match
when the commentator shouts, “and that’s a free kick to Arsenal, Beckham to
take it” – when Watford have just scored and Beckham isn’t playing.
through an International Court simply to throw light on the truth would at least
comfort those suspicious about the Bush motive. Besides, if Bush and Blair are
so positive they are right they would relieve themselves of blame for the current
crisis. They may even have the world behind them in their efforts.
Bin Laden might also take the opportunity to join them in the dock in an effort
to throw light on his motive. But none of this seems likely to happen. The best
one can suggest, is that the International Criminal Court prosecute Tony Blair
for an “illegal war”, since the two other conspirators are beyond the
jurisdiction of International Law. At least this is in the spirit of United
Nations and one of its founding fathers Winston Churchill.
for George Bush - if he appeared before an American Court to answer to a charge
of inciting an illegal war, he would be in the horns of a dilemma. The US courts
on behalf of the current administration is about to launch a multi
billion-dollar action against the tobacco industry. They claim that the industry
knew of the dangers of tobacco for many years but caveats in published research
failed to reveal the extent of the threat. The contradiction is that on the one
hand caveats by the tobacco industry are believed by the government to be fraud,
whilst caveats in intelligence about Iraq are not.
Hutton Enquiry was a catastrophic whitewash whichever way you look at it, though
it’s the conclusions of that are recorded in history. Despite this, the
credibility of the British government was lost with Lord Hutton.
it wasn’t the government that suffered it was the free press. Whilst Blair
stood at the dispatch box encouraging the worlds press to report that Iraq had
WMD that could be launched within 45 minutes, the BBC was chastised for not
conforming to strict journalistic guidelines. Though Dr. Kelly had intimated
that intelligence documents had been “sexed up”, he hadn’t actually said
heads rolled at the BBC, the Mirror Newspaper got an even more obscure beating.
The editor Piers Morgan was mysteriously set up by hoaxers that sent fake
pictures of British Army personal involved in abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The
pictures were published and discovered to be fakes almost immediately. Whilst
Piers Morgan was forced to resign little has been heard about the hoaxers apart
from the fact that they came from a British Army barracks. The point is - that
blatant manipulation of the press is eroding free speech to the point of rusting
democracy, and that the British and American example has rubbed off elsewhere.
Russia following Beslan the editor of the best known daily, Izvestiya was sacked
2 days after criticising the government handling of the crisis. In Israel, Tali
Fahima a female that served in the Israeli army, is being held without trial
because she dared befriend a Palestinian activist and asked him why he wanted to
kill Israeli’s. Across the world a frenzy of copycat abuses persist, fanning
the potential for more conflict.
with the nod from Bush has gone off the scale with its attacks on Palestinians
whilst In Russia, General Yuri Baluyevsky said “ As for carrying out
preventive strikes against terrorist bases, we will take all measures to
liquidate terrorist basis in any region of the world.” North Korea is
frightened to death of American invasion and Iran has decided to bluff it out.
this the world that Bush and Blair believed Churchill was fighting for?
Annan the UN secretary General warned in September this year of nations that
were using the war on terror as an excuse “to encroach on civil liberties”
not criticize your government when out of the country. Never cease to do so when
at home” - Winston Churchill
Though Winston Churchill himself was a master of propaganda and Jacob Epstein believed he would be more suited to the task than fighting in the trenches. It’s probable that both would cringe at the thought of Bush/Blair democracy.
Supporters of Bush and Blair might restate their argument and say - why hang out and wait for another attack by Bin Laden? Why wait for Saddam to develop weapons of mass destruction? Expanding the argument they could argue that Bush and Blair are right in their approach even if the evidence for war was faulty. Nobody is calling for the return of Saddam or the Taliban, least of all Iraqi’s and Afghan’s. Why don’t the whinges just shut up and put more effort into stabilising the current situation?
“If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves” - Winston Churchill
In many ways this is the Bush/Blair argument and we have already answered some of the questions. However, the battle for the peace campaigner is not so much with consolidating old arguments it’s more to do with constantly being confronted with hypocrisy. John Pilger in 2002 elucidates the point better than I saying
“to understand the lie of what Blair/Straw/Hoon call the "outstanding success" in Afghanistan, read the work of the original author of "Total War", a man called Zbigniew Brzezinski who was President Carter's National Security Adviser and is still a powerful force in Washington. Brzezinski not long ago revealed that on July 3, 1979, unknown to the American public and Congress, President Jimmy Carter secretly authorised $500million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and "destabilise" the Soviet Union. The CIA called this Operation Cyclone and in the following years poured $4billion into setting up Islamic training schools in Pakistan (Taliban means "student"). Young zealots were sent to the CIA's spy training camp in Virginia, where future members of al-Qaeda were taught "sabotage skills" - terrorism. Others were recruited at an Islamic school in Brooklyn, New York, within sight of the fated Twin Towers. In Pakistan, they were directed by British MI6 officers and trained by the SAS. The result, quipped Brzezinski, was "a few stirred up Muslims" - meaning the Taliban” – John Pilger
to 1979 had a Secular society adhering to religious tolerance. The “stirred up
Muslims” were in fact made in the USA.
The terror of
Beslan, the Twin Towers, Indonesia and all that follow it seems are casualties
of the “Cold War” initiated by Churchill in 1946. The US finally got its way
when the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan, which was followed by the collapse
of the Berlin Wall. But in doing so they turned a War of Posturing into a War of
These days Brzezinski has strong
reservations about American unilateral action and isolationism, but the bad news
for anyone outside of the US that would like a result for John Kerry in the
forthcoming election is that Brzezinski is a Democrat. The pre-emptive strategy
it seems crosses political borders.
The coming US election is probably
the most important vote in the history of the world. If John Kerry wins and the
whole world breathes a sigh of relief he must take steps to reunite the world.
He must recognise the anti war vote because the world is desperate for a new
strategy, a Peace strategy.
was instrumental in creating many of the borders that exist in the world today.
Many are still disputed but none more so than Israel. As a founding father in
1948 Churchill saw Israel "as one of the most hopeful and
encouraging adventures of the 20th century." It was to prove a
bloodthirsty adventure, but it’s not the history we focus on it’s the
If you tried to
explain to an Amazon native who speaks very little English the nature of the
Israeli conflict. You could possibly do so in three short sentences.
1) Two parties claim ownership of the exact same piece of land
2) The current owner of the land oppresses the other party in order to demoralise their resolve.
3) The oppressed party retaliates; seeking to inflict similar suffering to the suffering it receives.
Conclusion: On the human side constant suffering.
In trying to predict an eventual outcome we seem locked in a tautology. The tactics implemented by both sides have created a war that can never be won. By this I mean that if one side wins, the loser just swaps roles. The nature of the tactics suggests that it’s possible to have the same war with a different history – a revolving door of eternal war.
Whilst being the prime peace negotiator of the Israeli conflict. George Bush also strongly contests his ability host his war on foreign soil i.e. the Middle East. Apart from the consequences for peace in the region, the President has adopted the strategy of the battle itself. The result is that we are at the beginning of what has the potential be an eternal war.
This is what most worries people of all faiths. If a strategy cannot even be shown to work in the imagination, how can it work in reality? Taking a more scientific route – the tactics of both sides have failed to work since Israel’s creation half a century ago.
In a BBC news online interview with Ollie Stone-Lee in August 2002 Winston Churchill’s grandson Nicholas Soames MP was suspicious of the outcome of a pre-emptive strategy.
"It would be lunacy to pretend you can just go into Iraq without having regard to what is going to happen in the Middle East… My own view is that it's better to be jaw, jaw than war, war. It's much easier to go to war than it is to go to peace." – Nicholas Soames MP
With the worst-case scenario unfolding in the Middle East it maybe that the warning of Churchill’s grandson is akin to Churchill’s warnings of Hitler and Stalin.
“Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Winston Churchill
But why am I writing to you? What can you do for me? And what has this virtual history of the crisis really got to do with Epstein’s Bust of Churchill?
I have come all this way with a message on behalf of the majority of the world’s population. I only say majority because – of the wide and varied selection of acquaintances I have, from across the political spectrum - And from all of the information from various sources. And from the millions that marched against the war in the first place. In my whole complete world of existence, I have yet to find anybody that advocated war with Iraq. Apart that is from politicians. It’s difficult to fathom how the very powers that suggest they are advancing Democracy actually disenfranchise the majority from it.
Winston Churchill has been used for political capital in an attempt to justify a strategy of death and destruction that has the potential to last indefinitely. The Churchill Bust by Epstein has been plundered by Tony Blair from the Government Art Collection with no explanation and used as a figurehead of for this wholesale exportation of war. As an individual part of a majority that do not support the strategy of this war – I find it offensive and barbaric that this should be so. Exercising my right as a British subject for free speech (while we still have it) I kindly request that the Churchill Bust is returned immediately.
The problem that the US and British Governments are faced with at present is partly due to their own making. The yarn spinning has disenfranchised them from the true feeling in their own countries. They have fallen into the same trap as Saddam by not understanding the serious nature of the opposing argument.
Even opposition parties generally dislike being seen as disloyal to their country and the troops that serve it. But the duty of an opposition is to put an opposing view and the duty of government is to listen to it and argue their case. If attacks on the press stifle the ability to gain the complete picture and the opposition do not oppose, we do not have a Democracy – We have an Oligarchy. We don’t have representation across the spectrum and equal measure of capability to vote for a different strategy. We have only representation from the select few regardless of the majority. But the troops too are part of the population and must also feel as disenfranchised as the rest of us from such an idiotic strategy.
This is not to say that there should not be a war on terror, it just says that the strategy is wholly wrong. The Bush administration not the American people are to blame for this crisis. Since the President took office he has weakened the United Nations by failing to recognise it. Kicked International Law in the balls and tried to justify Human Rights abuse. Caused death, torture and suffering throughout the world. And used the already discredited Tony Blair as a puppet example of loyalty to give himself credibility in the United States. In general if it wasn’t for Blair and Churchill, Bush would have been seen as a despot. But if you really want to have a laugh about it, this is a quote from a speech in the Library of Congress in February this year. The President has already said that he too like Churchill intends to write history, when he says
“History has been kind to
Winston Churchill, as it usually is to those who help save the world.”
– George Bush
nobody told him there has to be someone left to read it. However, in all
seriousness the question of whether George Bush is helping to save the world is
the only question we need ask. I like many other unheard voices say he is not.
strength of my protest as I have stated revolves around the retrieval of the
Epstein Bust. To all of the various Governmental departments and agencies that I
send this letter, I would request your support. If you cannot show your support,
I would be grateful for some feedback as to why. If you would like to criticize
what I understand of the situation, I look forward to being enlightened. But
specific questions I would like answers too are as follows
– How did Tony Blair acquire the Churchill Bust? – Protocol and exceptions
– If no reply is given I shall call Interpol to report the theft of a
Bush – How do you justify yourself without resort to Churchill? The
forthcoming trials of prisoners of Guantanamo Bay not only advocate that the
defendants have no legal representation. They are also said to take into account
her’ say evidence. In the light of this, how do you respond to the her’ say
charge - that from the evidence of your worldwide strategy of conflict abroad
coupled with your announcement that you are to bring troops home from worldwide
bases - You are actually preparing for conflict at home and going to use the
troops against your own people?
Nations – How damaged is the United Nations since George Bush came to power?
Criminal Court - What do you propose to do about the Illegal war? Is it possible
to charge Tony Blair? Is it possible to demand that lawyers representing
governments appear before you in order that the exact history of the world is
written? Has the Iraq situation weakened the power of the Court?
Blair – What has turned what I regarded as the best Prime Minister in a
generation into buying into this mess? People find it hard to doubt your
sincerity, but you must know there are other ways to fight terrorism. The world
is waiting for you now to support John Kerry and rid us of a nightmare. The war
you have created feeds on itself, stop it now, jump ship and set future leaders
of the world an example that this kind of war does not work.
you all very much for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.