Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | May 5, 2017

What Would Winston Churchill Do? (Chapter 2)

 

A COUNTRY SAVED

If you want to be a Leader — you’ve got to start going about it in a good way same as young Churchill did when he opted to go for the military academy at Sandhurst instead of regular college. In there, HE STARTED READING VORACIOUSLY, AND WRITING FEROCIOUSLY, and he kept at it, for the rest of his life. Indeed it was a smart way to start his true education. Choosing to be a life long student, of Leadership and Statesmanship works well only if you are quite discerning about the type & quality of books you study, and therefore about the kind of software that you allow to enter into your brain.

And you can boost the furtherance of your education through the immediate practice of the knowledge you gain, and through the sharing of it via it’s application, usage, and teaching. And perhaps the teaching of this new knowledge as instruction to colleagues and disciples — might very well offer the utmost effectiveness for your edification. Sharing what you learn is also the best way to advance your education of Statesmanship, while being useful to society too. Therefore, it might be helpful, to get some disciples as well.

Yet for now, methinks, you surely must be on the right path, because after all, you are reading this book now, and that’s great for your education and your edification too. It also proves you are quite a discerning and a beautiful mind. Not bad my young grasshopper. Not bad…

And now you can start your path towards learning about leadership, about the exercise of Power, and about Statesmanship by sharing the “teachings’ found in this book with your friends, and colleagues, or with your various disciples and acolytes, in a real place where you can focus your mind to the end result: LEARNING. 

Learning how the best of the best have acted, in the field of honor. Business is great and all, but it really doesn’t compare to the ancient Art of Leadership as expressed in the battlefield where your very life is at stake.

Think about that for a moment…

So start studying those who are brave enough to lead under fire, and then come back to tell me, why you think that being Program Manager, or a VP, or a CEO etc, is big hairy deal, and that somehow makes you a Leader of Men. Start thinking about that. Better yet, start acting like a leader by observing and studying the Great Men, and through their experiences commence learning the ropes of Statecraft.

Or like young Winston you could start by fighting on all five continents and begin collecting medals, experiences from past campaigns, and frontal attack bullet wounds, to prove the point. Or if you choose this profession during peace time, study people like Winston hard, and start your own Oracular services, by getting direct intelligence outside of the Mass Media sources. If you can do that — perhaps its time to gather a circle of trusted friends, globewise. Do this and engage them all in private information gathering ‘exchanges’ that will enhance the width, the depth, and the quality of knowledge about world affairs you receive. That process will make you a person of note, vision, and foresight. Then and only then — those that seek out Leaders in Society, might take notice of you and invite you to play a far bigger game than what you presently do. 

At any rate if you learn to be a real Leader — being a leader of men will come to be far easier next time you have to face that unruly Board of Directors, or your Executive Mangers, or the Eunuchs in your Office. Because if you want to get them to fall inline with your vision, you must have a persuasive argument to communicate and a sharp sword to back it up..

Either that, or start bringing the long rifle to the office, and see how quickly things start smoothing out.

So by now you must be wondering, where do you sign up? Where should you send your money? Or what your next moves should be?  

Methinks, better yet you start thinking — what would Winston do?

Maybe the next step would be to read this book in it’s entirety, and then transpose yourself in Winston’s shoes and start thinking about things from his unique and imaginative vantage point. Do this as a mental acuity exercise, and if you see room for improvement in this world — then go out and do the best you can. Apply your skills, and invest your wealth in doing good for the world — because God knows we need help, as we are hurling down to helming in a hand basket collectively as a species. Indeed right about now — we need intelligent do gooders, and Good People doing Great Things. We’ve got lots of things undone and we are always a hair’s breath from blowing up, all of us to smithereens. Between the communist nuclear menace and the militant Islamic dirty nuclear terrorist bombs, we are treading on thin ice always, but especially now. Your help couldn’t come at a better time.

We need you just because the human family has got some serious work to do. But above all else we need you because you seem to me to be beautiful, smart and effective, as a Leader. So join the Churchill Society; and start blossoming. Join the Churchill Society and if you can’t find it, or you don’t have it nearby — just inaugurate a chapter in your own city, and I’ll help you do the right things.

Do this now, because at this moment of time, and at this time in History, we are actually in need of people powerful enough to be practicing the Churchillian Art of Leadership. And we have to contend with the Exercise of Power too. And for that we need cojones. Cojones bearing individuals who can be leading truly and openly; fully unashamed, and unbound from convention, from convenience, and from political circumstance. We seek FREE PEOPLE. People that feel boundless, and unrestrained from the shackles of today’s PC culture and its brethren, the identity politics of the passive aggressive liberal left. We want you strong and virulent because we further look for those folks that don’t care about being objectified by the self haters. So if you are a person of self respect who happens to dislike the garden variety of fake news, offered up from the hate driven agenda of establishment mass media and their corrupt oligarchy — just holler. But I must warn you — if you are to come our way, you must not be part of the vast sorority of stoner-losers, eunuchs, snowflakes, & buttercups, or banker-wankers, and mass media whores — all together practicing the sublime art of stupidity and eternal judgement of all others but themselves. Indeed we’d like to invite you all, and compassionately sacrifice  the lot to the Gods of Olympus, but sadly at this point in time the practice of this particularly strong form of Leadership is limited to the very few.

Those of you who still believe the mass media, and who choose to live lives of quiet desperation, while engaging as peons in this most virulent form of corruption that has robbed the Western World of it’s Testosterone and it’s muscle — let this become the rallying cry of any and all crybabies this society has got to tolerate. We will carry you all along, but in this Noah’s Ark, we simply have not got the room to accommodate all of you…

 

 

 

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So let the haters eat their heart out, and practice their peculiar art of self induced sarcofagia. As for us, we’ve clearly got bigger fish to fry. Indeed this is a distinct sickness that is different form the natural evolvement of age that in medicine is called ‘Sarcopenia’ because in our case today this self-hate is fast becoming an acute case of ‘Sarcophagia.’ And that is a fate far worse than the former one, where gradual loss of muscle mass, due to the aging process of our culture and civilization… renders our civilization gradually weaker. The self induced sarcofagia instead renders our Civilization weak, gay, gender neutral, and eventually fully impotent.

And that is why we need now to rejuvenate all of our institutions, our organizations, and especially our governments, with a healthy dose of testosterone. Testosterone now, should be your rallying cry — just in order to be man enough to defend our Republic from the constant waves of attack from the haters, the terrorists, the losers and their ilk, the liberal left made up of socialist pvssies, their NAZI collaborators, the LGBT militant Islamic Jihadists, and all confused Kaitlin Jenner transexual communists out there. 😉

Let’s get on with it.

No delaying anymore lest we discover that the Barbarians are already inside the Gates of the New Rome… and are eating it’s inhabitants alive, starting from their soft brains. 

 

 

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Back in the days when Gods still lived atop Mt Olympus and the merciful Apollo delivered his Oracles in Delphi wanting to help people live harmoniously, and safe from death and destruction, so they can engage in games of “Truth & Beauty,” poems & peans, archery and music contests, and athletic competitions, indeed everything good except not war — it was his priestess the Pythia that was tasked with delivering his “Godly Advise” and keeping people from jumping at each other’s throats…

Apollo, was the Olympian god of prophecy and oracles, music, song and poetry, archery, healing, plague and disease, and the protection of the young, but he was particularly useful as the protector of the writer, the poet, the news bearer, and of the visionary Leader endowed with the gifts of vision and foresight. Clearly a good god that would make a perfect fit for Winston with his attributes, such as the wreath and branch of laurel, the bow and the quiver of arrows, the raven, and the lyre, and above all else the prophetic message, the sage advise that saves lives and offers safety to human beings.

Indeed the Oracle of Delphi personified the simple yet pithy, aphorism: “Truth is Beauty and Beauty is Truth.” Together, these two constitute “Power”. Apollo always shared that gem with the humans as he encountered and engaged them through music, art and news giving. And he completed the riddle with this gem of wisdom: “Power is Divine, yet ordained by Men.”

But Winston Churchill was not ever likely to be confused with Apollo and far less likely to mistaken for a scantily dressed & surely stoned, virgin. Especially a virgin, strangely perched on a three legged perch, while revealing her charms to all comers, and delivering double entendres and pithy anecdotes… Churchill was a cynical iconoclast. He was a modernist, an innovator and a modernizer. He hated small talk, and in short he was pretty much the opposite of the “old” paradigm, and he always vouched for “change” and fought for the advancement of Peoples, and fervent Progress for the Cause of Humanity. Those pithy aphorisms of his, bested those of Pythia by far, and were certainly better targeted, far better lobbed, and always landed with a thud, causing maximum damage through his merciless humour, always honest, and never to be misunderstood.

Still he liked to think that he always spoke softly, softly.

But the message contained within was more like a naval artillery shell coming off those 18 inch Royal Navy’s long range guns, from the first world war.

To put it into context, when these guns fire; it just sounds like a hand grenade going off… next to you.

That is why ‘Pythia’ the deliverer of the pithy Prophecies, perched on a three legged stool amidst dream inducing clouds of smoke, in the middle of the Temple of the heavenly Oracular abode dedicated to the God Apollo at Delphi — was always a really beautiful young virgin. Indeed she was a bit like a ditchy blonde — clueless and not very deep young woman with a kind of beauty reminiscent of the ideas of beauty of her day.  

 

 

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A young and open minded if not ‘open legged’ blonde and dedicated priestess of Apollo, that in her scantily covered bod, had nothing to ‘hide’ from the “Seeker” who came bearing Royal gifts in order to receive actionable Intelligence, Leadership guidance, and decision making counsel, on the biggest issues of the day. In short Pythia was the ‘vessel’ of the prophesy, but not the bearer…

 

 

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The God Apollo was the ‘fount’ of Foresight, Vision, & Divination, and that is why the weary traveler seeking wisdom; would first stop and wash their eyes and face and then drink water from the sacred spring dedicated to the God Apollo. And once these ablutions take place — then one can truly start SEEING again.

Or at least that is what the ancients used to believe…

So when you travel back to Delphi today, you must see the flowing spring and perhaps have a go at following that method of cleansing one’s eyes, and thus unfettering the special vision — through the grace of Apollo the Omniscient.

Winston at least that’s what he dd. Yet just for good measure he jumped in the ancient spring and took a full bath, and even made himself a submarine by sinking his head underneath the Holly waters… and holding his breath until he turned red in the face.

It clearly worked.

 

 

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That is the reason why all the Leaders, the Kings, and and all the Princes back in the days of Glory of the ancient world of Empires, had made the trek to visit the Oracle at Delphi for advice. And they received life saving counsel as they kept coming back frequently, always laden with golden gifts and princely statues. People came all the way from far reaches of the then known world. Potentates, and leaders like the Pharaohs of Egypt, and the King of Kings, of Persia, along with the golden satraps came in order to pay their homage and offer respect to Apollo and thus receive his Oracular wisdom. And the Oracle did not disappoint and offered the same useful benefit of foresight and wisdom to all those who made the journey to its wooded forest sanctuary. A journey such as the one done in homage to ‘Divine Wisdom’ and divination, as the journey undertaken by all the powerful Leaders. Leaders of Men, such as the Greek Kings, and the Roman Emperors, the Senators, and the Quaestors. And in earlier times all the Leaders of the Royal houses of Atreus like Agamemnon and Menelaus the Atrides from Achaia, and their mortal enemies Priam and Paris of Troia, whose memory survives because both the Iliad and the Odyssey were written to commemorate their long and epic war and their individual earth changing battles — they had all visited the Oracle asking advice and receiving appropriate wisdom. Indeed we know that the advice given by the Oracle to the Combatant Kings could have prevented the onset of war — had they listened and had they acted in prudence. However as the Oracle said to both warring sides and to many of their Allies — everything else is preferable to war because in war, many of you shall die. And the young priestess went on and said: ‘Those of you who come back home, from war, such as those of Thebes, and Mycenae will die in your House’ and that was an especially sinister oracle if you knew how the story of the Myceneaen Kings unfolded upon their return from their victorious conflict against Troia. Because as the Oracle had said: ‘Those who win in war — they also lose…’

The fame and usefulness of the Oracle during the Classical times of the Ancient World and it’s years of Glory and Enlightenment — was so great, that all potentates and all leader, indeed all claimants to power, had to visit Delphi to seek advise and determine their future path of Leadership and Life.

Ulysses the King of Ithaca, visited the Oracle before his campaign to Troia, and so did the Macedon Philipp and his son Alexander, as they were preparing their campaign to conquer the World. And all the leaders from the all powerful Athenian Kings, to the elected Kings of Sparta, and the later Athenian Democratic statesmen — went to Delphi for advice. And from the multitude of ‘advice’ they all received a few well remembered nuggets of gold — the gems — that still survive today. And of course the counsel given to Philip II, and Alexander the Great, was well remembered by Winston Churchill when he himself made the journey to Delphi seeking to find his own wisdom and to divine the future by meditating on the past walking amidst the ruins of the all seeing Oracle that didn’t speak to the visitors anymore. It would have been an oversight for Winston to not visit the place whose study he made it a priority on his many visits to Greece and during his frequent holidays there, to get the sun and enjoy the sea.

And he also worked hard there on his writings and his own brand of political philosophy and he also worked on his memorable quotes and prophesies while being in Greece as we often see here from some of his most memorable quotes fashioned like as if the Oracle of Delphi had spoken these same words. Eternal advise encapsulated in a pithy line. Winston’s wise words fit for a King, a Prince, a Pleb, or a Commoner alike are always a good primer to bolster someone’s Heart and Mind:

 

 

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‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’.

‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’

‘You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.’

‘Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.’

‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’

‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’

‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.’

‘Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.’

‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’

‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’

 
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This is the kind of zingers that he had in his quiver, and like another angelic faced ‘putti’ from the Italian Renaissance, he hurled them at the unsuspecting targets of his well aimed Bow and arrow practice surely inherited from his mother Jennie’s warrior heritage of her American Brave native ancestors.

But it was the intellectual inspiration and the vision that he drew from Delphi and classical Greece that he came to visit often and as it became his favorite place to recharge his batteries. He loved to be exposed to the surf, the sea, and the sun; and that had become his meditative tool, used to reflect on what the future might hold for his work, and for the world, and for all of humanity. And as all the great men before him — he also traveled to Delphi often.

Same as in the past all the Good and the Great, had traveled there, in order to seek the Truth, and get the “Real Knowledge” from the young virgin priestess called “Pythia.” Yet when Winston traveled to Delphi, meditated amongst the ruins, and he made fast friends amongst the locals and the foreign visitors alike, because Winston was famous for making easy friends and being a people’s person. And in Greece after his sojourn with the Gods in Delphi and Mt Olympus, he always took his longer holidays in the ancient sites of Olympia, and Thermopylae because he had discovered the baths. The spa was Winston’s favorite place. He loved lolling and wilting his skin inside the hot bath. And that was awesome that he found them all over the place because Greece is a highly volcanic place and there is an abundance of hot baths and ancient spa settings, most often right near the sea in places like Olympia and Thermopylae and many others. As luck would have it this is where some of his famous business of politics and diplomacy took place and where he often met with his more intimate friends,Greek and English, who had homes in Greece and loved to host him as a cherished guest.

Yet at an early age this is where Winston honed his Oracular skills to perfection, alternatively speaking to the wind with reeds in his lips, or practicing his rhetoric with pebbles in his mouth — like ancient Orator Demosthenes whose practice of speaking to the wind and the sea with a mouthful of pebbles helped him overcome his lisp. Winston practiced endlessly — never quite getting rid of his own lisp and his rather obvious speech impediment. But he managed another feat as overtime he became the most inspiring Orator of his day — through the constant practice of public speaking in front of the wind and the sea in these ancient places of historical record. Places, that survive well in our memory today, because of glorious events that happened in the classical past of Greece. Events, that Winston also reflected on, when thinking of the parallels between the ancient past and today. And also when he studied the Strategies, employed, the forces involved, the tactics that led to desirable actions, and outcomes. And he focused on the men that happened to shape History and Humanity through their Being there and acting like Gods and Heroes.

Indeed. He was keen on heroes. and by studying the heroic past that had inspired countless others before him — he thrived. He thought of Lord Byron, and Shelley, and even Lord Elgin, and so many others before him — that young Winston saw no end, to his historical education potential amidst the ruins and the classical histories ‘unearthed’ with each successive holiday there. He thought of Alexander and of how much he had accomplished at his young age; and felt a certain sense of urgency to do more. Always more. And when he thought of Alexander, he realized that if he were to make his mark in the world — he better get started thinking BIG. Really big. Of course, he had already earned some distinction for bravery, but he craved more.

A lot more…

Indeed it was in Greece that he was infused with amazing reserves of courage and enthusiasm for glory. Because for Winston Churchill, Greece – the ancient Hellas – was always the greatest civilization that has ever seen the light on the face of this Earth, and is the one civilization that our Western civilization fully owes it’s existence to. The fact that the British civilization modeled itself after the Greco-Roman world as the expression of  NeoClassical multicolumned Western AngloSaxon & Christian civilization — didn’t get lost on Winston. Indeed he knew that it all got started there in our distant past from the halls of wisdom to the schools of learning to the Aristotelian respect for nature’s observation, scientific process, reason, and science. World shattering innovations started from Greece, like these ones:

Elected & Ethical Leadership. Oratory. Representational Government of the People, by the People, and for the People. Humane representations of the Gods. Art. Human Rights. Equality. Astronomy. Rhetoric. Law-giving, and Democracy. Republican ideals. Constitution. Science. Physics. Ethics. Medicine. Mathematics. Geometry. Algebra. Epistemiology. History. Trigonometry. Morality. Asclepeian Ethics for Medicine, and so much more to the point that Winston Churchill would often exclaim in mock exasperation: ‘These Greeks discovered everything ahead of everyone and well before anyone else had a chance at the wheel. And since they did everything too — now all that is left for a person is re-discover what they already knew.’

And that is ultimately what this student of History loved about Greece so deeply, and it was the thing that caused him to spend so much time there, and invest of his meagre fortune in procuring a residence i this country that he had made sure to save from Communism. Because there was ‘Nothing new under the sun’ and to validate that hypothesis, Winston had to make the Greeks — his special friends, so much so, that he personally traveled there at the height of the Greek civil war, when Athens was fully occupied by the heavily armed Communists. Yet disregarding all reasonable advise, and the firm declaration of his staff that they could not protect his Life — Winston traveled to Athens at this time, at great personal risk.

 

 

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He flew there but once in Athens, after the bombing attempt against his life in the Hotel Grand Bretagne, he slept aboard the HMS Ajax, because he had some more work to do before he gave up the ghost, as he said.

But he had to be there for three rather important reasons:

Firstly, to keep his solemn word given to the Greek people that he would help liberate them from fascism. After all he had said that on his “Finest Hour” speech, and he always observed his special relationship with Greece, her traditions, and her people. He respected those fierce fighting people, whom he had often described as “Lions of Liberty” echoing Lord Byron’s words; who had fought, lived, and died amongst them…

After all Winston owed the Greeks a debt of honor, when they had first fought hard in the Second World War, and had delivered the one and only victory against Hitler and his Axis powers in the first year, and thus proved to the Worlds’ amazement, that the steely fascist tide of terror, can be beaten and turned back — if we had the will to fight till the end. It was therefore “his” beloved Greeks, who had first offered a measure of HOPE to the British fighters during the darkest days of the early stages of the Second World War. And it was then that Winston himself had said in Parliament: “From this day forward we shall always say that It’s not the Greeks that fight like Heroes — but rather that it is the Heroes, that fight like the Greeks.” 

Winston had to go to Athens, even if only to remind the Greeks, those heroes of the earlier Victory against the Italian fascists, before the other armies of Darkness and Nazism, had come flooding in, and attacked their flank, like the Persians had done in another battle — that of Thermopylae — where Leonidas and his 300 braves fell to the last man. Indeed the German mechanized divisions had attacked Greece from the rear, after their Italian allies had been routed; and thus took over the exhausted country and extinguished the light of  Liberty that was freshly shinning there. With these thoughts in mind, Winston Churchill felt it his duty, to mix it up with these great warriors of Liberty, and to gain for himself some measure of Hope, and the requisite “street cred” this time around in the looming fight against the incoming tides of Communism and against the fascism of the unstoppable Red Army and it’s guerrillas vying for supremacy and control in this small and pained country. 

We today get to see what he saw, and we can at long last in this book today share with the readers that the very first battle of the so called COLD WAR was fought by proxy in Greece and it was this conflict that brought the FIRST VICTORY against Communism. That was the long range foresight of the Vision that Winston Churchill possessed and that was the gift that he sought from the Greeks in that fateful journey he undertook to Athens to spend Christmas amongst this small yet most Christian and most Ancient Nation of Europe.

Because Winston much like the war weary Greeks, saw that Communism would snuff out all of Greece’s long held cultural, religious, and national beliefs that long had defined that nation and it’s people. And in every crisis, therein lies opportunity. And he saw that the seesaw of History could be held here because Greece was good and ready to stand up, fight, and deliver another first VICTORY for the Western Civilization. The first victory against the scourge of Socialism and Communism. And that is what Greece ultimately did after fighting a painful so called Civil War that claimed an additional half a million souls from the already thinned out ranks of the ancient DNA of this poet, warrior, and philosopher race of rare people.

Greeks would indeed go on, and supply the world with this first global victory against Communism after the end of the Second World War, same as they had done against the Fascists of Mussolini. It was the Greeks that fought and beat back the forces of Evil masquerading as good Socialists, and Communists, who had befallen Europe and the World, carried on the wings of the Red Army, like a locust. And it is this new red locust that was causing another terrible bloodletting.  So, on this day, old Winnie, had to show up to fortify the defenders with some emotional help, and also a small measure of enthusiasm by showing them that himself was unafraid. And that he had returned to be amongst the Free Greek people and to fight like one, and to offer all he could, and even die like one, as Lord Byron of old died amongst the Free Greeks of Missolonghi under siege — when Greece was saved from another menace, through courage and bold bravery.

And this show of bravery, was another important thing for Greece, but it was also a very important thing for the whole world, because just as the Greeks were freeing their country from the Germans who were fighting a rear guard action, as they were retreating away from Athens and other Greek cities — their terror and genocide was rapidly being replaced by another terror. The Red Terror — that of the Communists and their progroms against the Greek nationalists, and indeed against every patriotic person that objected to their globalist agenda of Socialism and World Communism.

And indeed at this time, the Greeks were being felled by the thousands, from the evil hand of treachery, betrayal, and assassination. A civil war was in the offing was full tilt, with brother killing brother, sister killing sister, and families being torn asunder, in the cause of a globalist, internationalist, and faulty communist ideology, that wanted to treat people like red ants, and not as humans. The “Mass Effects” of communism were being massively applied on all of the people of this small yet most ancient and proud nation — with the singular purpose of enslaving them and making them just part of the solid amorphous mass of red ants that made up the moving machine parts of the Socialist Soviet Union.

Yet it fell upon these Greeks who had already proven their bravery and courage — early on in the start of the second world war. It was the Greeks that had proven to be the fiercest fighters for Freedom, Liberty, and Democracy. Because they fought again and again and again, for their hard won freedom. And as they had just gone from the German occupation and their systematically planned genocide of Greece, amidst Gestapo’s militarized terror that “exterminated” more than 15% of the population of Greece through mass starvation inside that vast concentration camp they had turned the occupied country into. This moment of freedom, was rapidly being replaced with the “Red Terror” perpetrated by the Communist party. The small country that gave the world the very ideas of Liberty and Democracy, was now the country that had to be saved from the Russian communist menace that was set upon Greece. And indeed Winston understood that if Greece fell to the Communists — the rest of Eastern Mediterranean and the Dardanelles would fall too. And soon Turkey and the Middle East, her former Ottoman empire strongholds, would fall too. This was indeed Stalin’s and the Red Army’s expansionary goal after the defeat of the German hordes, and as they applied their iron grip ruthlessly on the European small nations and the other Balkan countries that fell under their yoke for more than half a century.  

But the Greeks were different, and to let these people spend any measure of time under the Red Terror would have been unconscionable for Winston Churchill. So he chose to join them. He chose to join them at the moment of Liberation in order to celebrate with. But he also timed his journey so he can be there with them and thus join them in church, like an ancient warrior, coming penitent and expectant in order to receive the sacrosanct “body & blood” of Jesus, during the first free Greek Christmas Eucharist after a long wintry siege in Athens. He chose to join the Greeks at this time to celebrate with them, the birth of Christ, the life giver, and to commence together the long journey towards the Paschal Easter, and the National Resurrection still longing to come, after a long winter in Hades. He chose to make this perilous and yet all important journey to be with the Greek people and to help lead them towards the light of day. And indeed as History will bear out — Winston chose to join the Greeks for Christmas because that was the best place he could be after the long years of both of them fighting the forces of evil, in order to tell the World and the grim faced fighters that they still had a bit more to go. They simply had to go on, a bit longer, because now — at long last — hope and help were at hand. He chose to go to Greece because now some small measure of courage, was required from himself in order to prove to the skeptics that the Red Threat of Worldwide Communism was as real as a “bullet to the head” inflicted heart attack.  This was the preferred method of executing the patriots that the communists had perfected, and for reasons of propaganda had tried to keep quiet, by forcing all the Greek Doctors to write ‘Heart Attack” as the cause of death — on the death certificates of all those executed by the Red Army and buried in mass graves.

So as you can see; Winston Churchill had to go to Greece  to put an end to that. And he had to go himself in order to fraternize with the Free Greeks, these eternal warriors, and to show them that he was one of them and that he was willing to fight on if they were too… And to also present himself as a Leader who by association with the warriors at the front lines — he could feel the thrill of battle again. and perhaps by association with his Heroes — he could refill his own significant deposits of courage, and instill in himself the backbone necessary to go on. And he had to go to Greece, because he wanted to ‘bathe’ himself in the Delphic oracle’s long lost glory to rekindle his Vision and foresight and lead his people in this new fight the winds of fortune had brought upon him. The fight against the global menace of Communism. 

That’s a lot more than three reasons why Winston had to go to Greece but am sure you get the idea…

Lastly; Churchill, had to go be with the Greeks, not in order to relive History, and rekindle the Classics amongst these Free People, but in order for himself to experience being & living amongst them; very much like Lord Byron had done before him — to get the taste of eternity he craved. Albeit for Winston this time around it was only for a short time, but he would come back agains and again, time and again, to spend large swaths of his holiday and vacation time there, after Greece completed her Liberation from the Communist menace. And this only happened effectively, at the end of the so called Greek civil war that followed the five years of Second world war 1940-1945, and lasted for another four years from 1945-1949.  When the rest of Europe was rebuilding — sadly Greece was still killing itself. This time it was being destroyed and tearing itself apart in the hands of the Communist ideologues and their application of their techniques of terror. That is the bloody shame that Winston saw in Athens and that is why he wanted to avert it, from becoming the common fate for the rest of the world.

There is no overstating the horror of German occupation, but what followed during the Civil war was just as bad for the Greek people. Professor Mark Mazower’s book “Inside Hitler’s Greece” describes hideous “bloccos,” meaning roadblocks, or “round-ups” whereby crowds would be corralled into the streets for execution. Stripping and violation of women was a common means to secure “confessions.” Mass executions took place “on the German model”: in public, for purposes of intimidation; bodies would be left hanging from trees, guarded by German Security Battalion to prevent their removal. In response, the Greek patriot partisans & guerrillas, mounted daily counterattacks on the Germans and their “quislings” in order to keep up the struggle, and to resist the complete debasement of their nation — but also to liberate the countryside. This they succeeded in doing so by end of the first year of occupation the German armies were afraid to get out of their big city garrisons and would not venture at all in the mountainous countryside. The partisan movement had indeed been born in Athens but it was based in the villages, so that Greece was progressively liberated from the countryside towards the cities. In an old method of citizen warfare the guerrillas led by Aris Velouhiotis worked with the SOE who played their part, famous in military annals, for the role of Brigadier Eddie Myers and “Monty” Woodhouse, in blowing up the “Gorgopotomos” viaduct that was an important chasm bridging the train thoroughfare, that was ferrying important literary supplies, men, and materiel — all vital to Rommel’s Africa Corps. This rail link was blown up in 1942 and many other operations with the fighting partisans – the “andartes” (meaning guerrillas in Greek language) took place with good ending in seriously harassing and disturbing the long logistical supply lines of the German army.

By autumn 1944, Greece had been devastated by the directed effects of the German occupation, hoping to subjugate these fighting people by forced extermination. This was the German High Command plan. Deprive Greek people from any foodstuff and force them into starvation. And thus came that their occupational policy was mainly directed terror, executions, famine, and the resultant genocide. When all was said and done, more than a million people had died and fled, representing 14% of the population of the country. Indeed the death toll from Greece during the Second World War is the highest than any country that fought and participated in this giant bloodletting conflict, on any side of the war.

And as a Nation the Greek people lost more souls than any other nation, except that of the Jewish people who at that moment were stateless and perhaps because of that, they were persecuted mercilessly by the NAZIs and their sympathizers everywhere in occupied Europe and even in Greece proper, although many Greek Jews were saved through the kindness and spirit of devotional hospitality many Greeks exhibited in protecting and shielding their neighbors from the conquerors at personal risk of death — at this terrible time of the locust. Locust is what the Greeks called the Conquering German armies that deprived them of Liberty, Sovereignty and of all Vitals and Victuals.

Think about that for a moment…

Still the Greeks endured, and after all this mayhem, the communist guerrillas of EAM and ELAS had liberated dozens of villages and small towns, and had thus become a proto-government, administering parts of the country, while the official state withered away. After the German withdrawal of late November till early December of 1944, ELAS kept its 50,000 armed partisans outside the capital, and in May of 1944 agreed to participate in the National Union Coalition government, and placed itself inside the Democratic fold of the Greek state. They even accepted the British troops, as Allies and placed their men under the commanding officer, General Ronald Scobie, who was designated by Churchill as his trusted delegate to hold Athens from falling and capitulating to the communists.

Yet back on the 12th of October 1944, the Germans had evacuated Athens, and the few EAM-ELAS fighters, who had been inside Athens all along, welcomed the six-day window between liberation from the Germans, as an opportunity. The arrival of the Greek free army, coming home, fresh from fighting in El-Alamein and all over the deserts of Egypt and Libya with the British — signaled a new leaf in the tactical book of the communists, because the ELAS leadership of the guerrillas saw this opportunity of a six day window much like a vacuum of Leadership; and thus took it, by installing themselves as a provisional communist government of the streets in Athens. They called it “Laocratia” and equated it with a People’s Government for publicity’s sake. But in reality it was just a sly communist take over, and a straight forward “dictatorship of the proletariat” fully organized and ordered by the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist party, in far off Kremlin in Moscow. And it was then that the Greek communists obedient to Stalin’s every whim, started their “Governing” in Athens by rounding up and shooting people. Killing scores of civilians and collaborators in summary executions without judge nor jury — in the very streets of Athens that they now controlled. They did pretty much the same like the Germans had done before them. A wave of “Red Terror” Revenge, and Revancism started to sweep Athens and upend it’s foundations.

First the communists started exhibiting their power as usual by executing those suspected as “collaborateurs” and then spreading their public displays of Terror towards all those they regarded as nationalists, or saw as patriots. Fearing those who might wish to stand up and reject their red terror rule, they sought to arrest and execute all the leaders of this country. Indeed they started playing the same role as the evil forces they had just pushed out of the country. They played now the role of  the feared Gestapo and that of the hated German occupiers. This phenomenon is called psychological transference: Having spend so many years observing and, fixating upon, and fighting the Germans — they had now become quite like them, in that they rejected Freedom, hated Liberty, and abhored Democracy, as well as anything that resembled Justice, Religion, or the Rule of Divine and Natural  Law.

But above all else they hated the awesome Christian gift of Free will and that of the enlightened Liberty. The communists couldn’t stand any expression of the indomitable human Spirit wishing to soar above petty ideologies, towards the free sky of Liberty, because they wanted to reduce everybody to the stars of a worker ant. And they of course simply sought to enslave the Greek people all over again — in favor of their own Master, Marshall Joseph Stalin and his red brigades.

It was another instance of hell, that even Hitler would approve of. In that terrible circumstance one can understand why Winston Churchill chose to spend his Christmas holiday in Greece and why he stayed to invite the New year of 1945, inside the viper’s nest that post German occupation Athens, resembled.

And yet this is exactly what he did.

Because for him, now the most important thing was to spend the pivotal time of Christmas with the Free Christian Greek people, and their defenders solid in their positions, in order to announce to the world that Greece had not fallen to the Sphere of Influence of the Soviets — and thus if we could stop the Red Army’s tide in Athens, we could stope it elsewhere too.

The Cold War was Winston’s new battlefield, and bullets had started flying already. The killings in Athens in December of 1944 was just the first salvo of many to follow…

Because he recognized the signs of the looming war, Winston had to hold fast on that one principle. “No communist takeover of Greece.” And that he managed. He did this under grave threats, and with terrible odds. The stakes couldn’t be higher. It was a war of civilizations all over again. And he was perhaps the One man who saw this clearly. That is exactly why, Winston Churchill risked his life by traveling with a hastily organized small group to Athens Greece, in order to spend Christmas with the Free People of Greece. And it was this simple and yet valiant act of just “Showing Up” and his own peculiarly potent application of the Art of the Peripatetic Statesman, that proved to be the required medicine. Indeed this was the pivotal action, that along with the ferocious fighting spirit of the Greek patriots, and the divine intervention in favor of these Christian warriors — that tipped the balance in their favor, and stopped the Red Army in it’s bloody tracks.

And through his personal example, the British people and the Greek people came to be strong allies, fought together bravely, and ended up winning their existential battle against the Communists. And it was this coming together of the Allied Free People that effectively prevented the severely bleeding country from falling behind the Iron Curtain and also saved her children from being molested, violated, and mauled in the clutches of Stalin. He saved her from a dismal and dystopian fate that befell all those other small nations of Europe that didn’t fare so well after their own liberation from the Germans and fell under the communist Russian occupation.

Surprisingly and against all odds, small Greece was the only country that the Soviets had control of, and yet they lost it through their grasping hands after the second world war. They lost it because much like today’s Ukraine — Greece rebelled against that dismal fate and fought back against the coming of the night. And by joining up with the British, the Greeks managed to fight back. From humble beginnings the small force of 200 men under Scobie, whose orders from Winston was to hold the central square of Athens and the Parliament building at any cost. Winston promised help will arrive but Skobie was not to surrender, nor to give an inch — at any cost and for whatever reason, nor to ever live his position, and certainly not to allow the communists to penetrate his perimeter, of the two main city blocks he effectively controlled, one of them being the national garden… Winston Churchill as the Prime Minister reminded Scobie that Leonidas and his 300 held off more than a million Persians at Thermopylae, so why couldn’t Scobie and his 200 hold off the 150,000 armed communists now occupying Athens from storming the central Constitution square and the symbolic Parliament building. Winston gave him some backbone by reminding him that Scobie should hold-off the communist hordes, like a new Leonidas; albeit with one hundred fewer soldiers because Scobie had only 200 Brits instead of the 300 Spartan men Leonidas helmed. But Winston impressed upon Scobie that at any rate he must spread his mean and widen his positions by seizing immediately the high ground of Lycabettus hill, and Acropolis with a few men as a diversion in order to make his meagre forces appear far larger as he went to occupy large pieces of empty terrain in the hills surrounding Acropolis, the hill of Philopappou and that of the hill of the Musses, where the ancient Democratic Assembly of the Citizens of Athens, could still be seen in the excavated ground.

The British forces, had to hold the high positions and in this case the sacred ground. In the process they had to abandon any pretense to any other part of the city. And in a titular negotiated settlement — Scobie gave up all the Public buildings, the railroad stations and even the main markets, along with the commercial and financial center of the city up, to the communists to ostensibly protect and keep order under their own security forces. Thus the communists felt as if they were recognized by the British and look at themselves as equals and took this gift as a rather welcome terms of weakness if not surrender of the Brits. But it was all planned as a Trojan horse because this is what Churchill — keen student of History — had ordered Scobie to do. General Scobie obeyed Churchill’s commands fully, and reluctantly put into motion this harebrained scheme.

The funny thing is that this Stratagem worked.

The scenario played out as Churchill had foreseen, and the communists held back because they feared that the British force was far greater than what Scobie actually had. Further by seeing them exchanging urban territories for open forested and hilly terrain void of structures — they reasoned that if the British force could spread out in such huge areas — they certainly were a large force to be reckoned with. So the fell into the trap of subterfuge and the communists never pressed their numerical superiority, and never pursued their obvious strategic advantage. They simply stayed put waiting for a better opportunity to advance while using the guerrilla warfare tactics against the citizens they already controlled, and declined to attack and challenge Scobie’s basic centre position. This is how Scobie survived and held Athens central square with his tiny force staring down the 150 thousand guerrillas occupying the city all around him.

He never flinched — he never surrendered. Scobie held his cool hand steady at the trigger of his Sten gun facing the enemy boldly and smiling all along his scowling smile that could always be mistaken for a frown. And that is how Athens was won… and the first victory of the Cold War came to be the battle of Greece against the Red menace.

The ancient art of subterfuge and Psych-Ops, common to good Strategists and Leaders since time immemorial and exemplified in the Trojan campaign served Greece twice already that we now and am sure countless other times in it’s long warring history. Maybe it can be used a few times more because the enemy never studies history, or is blind and stupid enough to believe that he will not repeat it.

In time Scobie’s small expeditionary force of paratroopers grew to include the Greek free army, that was returning home, and some more British paratroopers that Winston Churchill sent over. Then Winston arrived with a lot more help and this finally helped cement the relationship of the Greeks and the Brits.

Later of course this relationship took the character of a Grand Alliance through the marriage of Prince Philip of Greece with Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain. Today the 91 year old Queen Elizabeth is the longest serving and longest living Monarch of England; and she owes a lot to Winston Churchill and his strategic diplomacy. I bet you didn’t know that Winston Churchill even offered these not insignificant dating services, acting both like a human “Tinder for Royalty” dating application, or a “Match.com” website, for the Aristocracy of Europe — as the Queen’s consort Prince Philip, 95 years of age today, would readily attest to.

Yet we must go back to Athens in the Christmas of 1944 lest we run too far ahead of the story. And to do that we must return to Winston Churchill’s address to the Athenian people as offered in December of 1944. I want you to read this speech here, not because it is a memorable speech, but because it is worth remembering this Utopian speech, in it’s entirety. Because that speech was delivered at the time of the Communist takeover of Athens when 150,000 armed communist guerrillas, terrorists, and regularly armed communist party members were encircling the small garrison of British paratroopers and National Army defenders, who were only controlling the very epicenter of the city, of a maximum of four or five square blocks, the Constitution square, and the national zoological and botanical gardens. They did not control any of the high ground, and were fully aware that the road to the airport and the seaport was unsafe and controlled by the Communist army, as was the whole surrounding city of which they were trying to hold the “heart-center.” It was a dismal state of affairs, yet the defenders didn’t even have the option or the opportunity to cut & run. Even if they wanted to save their lives, they had to fight; so they held on, and waited for reinforcements. They of course stayed true to their creed and the firm Churchillian orders to hold on to the Athens center like Leonidas and his three hundred men held on to the last man. General Scobie thrice wounded remained vigilant through sleepless nights, often going hungry for days, while keeping guard over their own “Thermopylae” in support of the promise for Peace and Unity as delivered by Winston Churchill to all the warring factions on the eve of Christmas when he arrived at the beleaguered city.

As it turns out, Churchill’s luck held. His star was firmly up on the planetary horizon, and shining on its firmament, thus endowing Winston with mythical qualities and assuring his continued survival, as he arrived in Greece. He flew into Kalamaki airport and in an armored vehicle drove at breakneck speed to the British embassy in Athens with his Colt revolved firmly in his hands. Upon arrival in Athen’s center, this is where his entourage was sprayed by machine gun fire that thankfully went overhead Winston’s helmeted head, yet killed the two people next to him and struck the wall right above his head. This incident and the moment when a shell burst near him in the water, when the boat launch that was bringing him to Faliron port from the Royal Destroyer AJAX, was strafed with fire from machine gun bullets, and greeted with explosions from grenade launchers and howitzer from the shore they were steaming towards… were what he termed the “close calls he came to, leaving his bones behind, in the same waters, where the mariners and the sailors of Salamis slipped under the waves, or where the soldiers of Marathon and even Perikles laid down to rest, and be remembered for ever more.

His sense of the defining terms of History is palpable in his campaign to save Greece, even at the cost of his own Life, to help these ancient People from devouring themselves in the altar of a faulty socialist ideology of the Marxist Leninist variety. Having studied intimately and at length both the American and the English Civil Wars, he had come to detest these internecine conflicts as fratricide, and as the ignoble kind of bloody battle.

And even the dynamite undermining, and the aborted sabotage of his Hotel by the Communist insurgents, did not rattle him as much, as the raging Greek Civil War that engulfed all around him, and threatened the newly installed, weak, yet ecumenical and Democratic, Greek government of National Unity, that he had single handedly brought to existence. This is what he had created for a single purpose. To contrast what a liberal Democracy looked like with what the communist totalitarian governments brought to their people.

Mind you at this time, Greece was considered to be firmly behind the Iron curtain and hostage to the communist led guerrillas that received their instructions from Russia’s Czar of the Kremlin Mr Stalin. So for Winston, saving Greece for her proscribed terrible fate was of the utmost importance and he was willing t do whatever it takes to pull the iron curtain back and allow the Greek people to escape towards the West, and thus have not only a taste of Freedom and Liberty all over again, but a good shot at prosperity ad national unity. So whether the new democratic Greek government survived, or not, and whether the temporary Peace Accord he had engineered came into being, or not — was a rather iffy exercise in prophesy, yet of the most vital importance. Now it was up to the Gods of time because the next few weeks would determine that future fully. Indeed for the comparison with the alternative shadow Communist government of Greece at the time — this Churchillian invention of an unpopular King abdicating in favor of his son with a strong Regent led government, resulted to a fully Democratic Greek government. He clearly had some experience causing Kings to abdicate having done that by advising the pro-Nazi English King Edward to abdicate and go marry Wallis Simpson, to open up the space for his honest brother to lead his People properly. And here, he played his hand again and upon his insistence, the King left and the Regent took control — so this was a true Democracy at long last. A weak democracy but a DEMOCRACY none the less. Finally this was a government for ALL THE GREEK PEOPLE, and one that had promised speedy and democratic elections to the whole country, with representation from all the political parties comprised of its people, and with freely chosen candidates.

So now let us sit back and bask in the glory of the moment for a while, so the magnitude of that achievement can sink in. And maybe let ourselves examine for historical perspective, and compare this newly hatched Greek liberal & democratic government with the illiberal and undemocratic governments that the Red Army had installed in all the nations of Europe, that had been absorbed into the orbit of all the Soviet Russian Republics, straining under Stalin’s Iron Curtain that stretched from the Scandinavian countries all the way to Trieste in the  Adriatic sea…

The only country for which that Iron Curtain was lifted and through abundant bloodshed escaped that dismal fate, was Greece. Hellas, the ancient home of Democracy, Liberty, and Human Rights, and the very cradle of Western Civilization. Greece was saved, simply because Winston Churchill, decreed it to be so.

So he scheduled democratic elections for the Greek people in order to legitimize their government. But the Communist party didn’t want elections. They simply wanted usurpation of power and the installment of a Dictatorship of the Proletariat. In the midst of that era of changes — they unleashed the “Red Terror” in Athens and elsewhere in Greece where they held sway, in a show of naked bloodshed and corruption of human values, that later came to be known as the “Dekemvriana” an era of killing and mayhem. This is when Winston Churchill showed up and put the kabosh to the communist terror plans, and to their bloody campaign of terror, for the enslavement of the Greek nation.

Imagine that moment: A single Man shows up and totally changes the “inevitable” flow of History. There is no better singular example of that powerful personality changing the flow of the mighty river of History by Visionary perspective and concerted action. And to bring it to contemporary focus, these events of December 1944 when Winston Churchill showed up to convene the Greeks to a Peace Conference and to form a government of National Unity, can only be compared to something out of fantasy or science fiction. Just imagine for a moment, Donald Trump showing up today in Damascus Syria, to give a speech, and talk to the people about Freedom & Democracy and about the dignity of personal Liberty, and organizing a Peace Conference, and a democratically elected government of Nation Unity and Reconciliation.

Imagine the gal… of this dude. Or just imagine his Courage… and the Foolhardy Bravado it took for him to show up and create the possibility to paint the canvas of the end of the Greek Civil War. And imagine his observance of Democracy, because he was keen to invite the Socialists, and the Communists, to participate in the new Greek Government of National Unity… l often say that these events are so strange, that are quite unbelievable to all people, and certainly to political leaders today. Yet, they all transpired as written herewith, and they serve us as a good reminder so that we always remember that Life is stranger than fiction. 

And to prove that point, please wait to see how this story unfolds…

 Because this being Winston Churchill — he had to show up and give his talk even though the central square otherwise known as Constitution Square, was the only part of Athens that the British paratroopers really controlled. Yet the Greeks didn’t have any ordinary people in it, because it was traditionally a Government offices and a Business area, but never had been a residential area. Nevertheless, Churchill showed up for his rendezvous with Destiny. And perhaps it was to be a rendezvous with death, but that’s another story. In his mind He just had to show up and talk to the Athenian people and to organize a government of general unity and acceptance by all the political parties, in order to be recast as a Democratic one.

And this is the first time that he also spoke of the Iron Curtain, and the Sinews of Peace, but he also talked of the debt that the Western World owed to Greece and that they would not let her be unassisted as she is fighting the Communist menace in the very streets of Athens. He exhorted the Greeks to settle their differences democratically, rather than allowing others from the outside impose a totalitarian government upon them.

This is the speech and the press conference that for the first time stopped Communism’s avaricious appetite form swallowing another small nation whole, and spitting out the dead bodies of it’s leading people and of it’s liberty and democracy.

During the press conference his words were constantly interrupted by explosions nearby from mortar fire, and by howitzers and machine gun fire bursts. Yet he persevered and he closed the speech, by saying: “Let there be Unity. Let there be resolute Comradeship. Let there be Greece for Ever. And let there be Greece for All…”

Simple as that.

Yet although the BBC radio carried his talk, and many Greek patriots who had access to a shortwave radio could hear him and indeed listened intently for any and all BBC broadcasts — sadly in front of him and immediately bellow the Hotel balcony that he had to deliver the speech from, there were only two young scruffy looking kids. All other people were fighting and otherwise occupied in the raging inferno of the Civil War in Athens that was in full swing at the heat of the moment.

Yet these two very young Greek children were his only audience, and they were listening to him in rapt attention, although it is doubtful that they even understood what he was talking about. Winston’s speeches are always laden with strong AngloSaxon terms, belonging to an older form of the English language, and is fairly certain that only the well educated people could understand. Indeed, these little boys, were orphaned, with nobody to care for them, because their parents were killed in the mass executions the Communists had organized during the Civil War, trying to decapitate the Greek Society by killing off all the Intelligentsia, the Leaders, the Officers, and the Professors — much as they had done in the Katyn forests when they had decapitated the Polish Society n order to control the country.

In this instance these two tiny and malnourished Greek orphans were adopted by the British troops as mascots and as “human pets” to be cared for, in waiting for better times, and to be cared as orphans of war. By the time the Civil War ended the Greeks would find more than Two hundred thousand such orphans whose parents had been slain by the evil fury of the Communists in the days of the Civil War. Still at these early days of the Civil War, these two children were witnesses on behalf of the future of Greece, hoping for an uncertain future. And as practical matters, they were at least being given a little food at the end of each day to keep them alive, at a time when most Greek citizens of Athens were experiencing a forced famine, because they had not had access to any victuals or even clean water, due to the communist blockade of supplies in order to cause the city to capitulate to their treasonous demands, so that they can install their Communist government, that was waiting in the wings to supplant the rightful and democratic government of the united free people.

Still the Greek people suffered greatly. And in some ways this is the same story replayed ad infinitum, and we see the same siege savagery unfold elsewhere, as we see happening today in war torn Aleppo in Syria, and in Iraq’s Mosul, and in many other besieged cities elsewhere, who are suffering under the other terrible cult of ideology — that of the Islamic militant terrorism.

Yet for Greece during this raging Civil War, Winston Churchill risked it all, and he even threw his Life in the balance.

He gambled for the sake of Democracy and Liberty, and his gamble held: Greece was liberated.

 

 

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But when you look at the background of his decision to go to Athens in the middle of a raging Civil War, one cannot help, but think that his man was insane.

Of course, he ostensibly run this crazy idea, by his staff, and the War Council, in order to gain legitimacy for leaving, but also in order to impress upon these lesser men, the importance of Greece to be scooped up from behind the fast closing Iron Curtain, but also in order to justify his latest folly that was compared by some to the Dardanelles expedition. He strained to justify this Greek folly to his colleagues, so he started by saying that he had to go to Athens to give a speech, and that they should go get a crew from the BBC to travel with him, to record, and broadcast live the speech, so that people all over the world could listen to it, simultaneously with his delivery to the Athenian people from the balcony of this hotel facing Constitution square.

Fancy that…

So, it came to pass that the Brits, the free Greeks, and indeed the whole of the Free World heard Winston speaking from Athens, along with the Greeks who could only hear it in their own illegal shortwave radios as it was delivered from the mouth of the Lion himself in Athens’ central square. Yet they could not go there to be in front of him in person because the communists had prohibited anyone from showing up under pain of death and had blockaded all access to this most central square. They had even set up perimeter roadblocks, in concentric circles, in order to prevent anyone crossing, and thus stopped anyone moving towards the British held center. So the Greek people stayed away but Winston kept harping about Liberty over the air waves, from the balcony of the recently de-mined and declared safe for the moment, hotel ironically named Grande Bretagne. And although he appears to be speaking in front of a giant square full of Athenian people — he was actually speaking only to the BBC cameras and exactly to three young gamins. That was his grand total of his live audience. These three gamins, were orphaned during Greece’s genocidal famine, foisted upon them as collective punishment by an occupation force intent on extermination. Yet these little kinds survived and were roaming the streets until, they were adopted by General Scobie’s forces and given three squares per day to keep them up. That was the sum total of Winston’s Greek audience and they didn’t even remotely have a word of English amongst them. As for the English speaking people — they were all busy because all the British defenders had to man the barricades, and the defensible positions in the high ground around the Constitution square, and the two prominent hills facing them.

So Winston basically spoke for the BBC radio and the news service reels. Yet he did not mind because he loved the power of radio especially since he didn’t have Twitter in his day — but there you have it. He liked technology — what can you say?

Fancy that…

But above all else, Winston valued the symbolism of starting the fight for the Free World against Communism inside the place that sits as the very heart of Western Civilization; Athens, the birth place of Democracy, Reason, and Liberty. That is what Athens and Greece represented that day, and for as long as he lived and breathed, his ideal places of Liberty and Democracy — were always the English Parliament, and Greece’s ancient citizen’s assembly on the backside of Philopappou hill in ancient Athens near Acropolis.

 

 

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So this Churchill speech is perhaps even more important, not only because of it’s content, but also because of the circumstances surrounding it’s delivery and of it’s presaging the “Sinews of Peace” speech he would deliver a couple of years later in Fulton Missouri in the small liberal Arts college in the heartland of the United States of America, where he again spoke about the “Iron Curtain” descending upon Europe and separating the nations, from the very North till the South. Since this Athenian speech, was delivered and later broadcast by the BBC, it was assumed that somehow Winston Churchill’s divine fortune saved him from certain death, but it was rather the observant paratroopers, and the good Army Engineers, along with the Bomb disposal officers, who performed that particular operational miracle. These were the special circumstances that enveloped that particular journey, and the peril that involved the moments of his delivery of the momentous speech about the Iron Curtain. That is why I want to recount this story — otherwise, I would not retell it here, except that it is vitally important, since Providence stepped up there, and delivered Winston’s life again, and gave him the opportunity to speak to the few Athenian people who could be gathered in front of the Hotel in Constitution square. Winston fearlessly stepped out on the balcony and spoke freely, risking again his life, by staying in Athens to pressure all leadership, and thus help organize this New government of National Unity, under none other than the Greek Patriarch — the Greek Christian Pope — head of the Orthodox Christian Faith. It was this Father of the people, Archbishop Damaskenos, that worked with Winston Churchill, and became the Regent. This is what Winston Churchill had deftly and diplomatically negotiated before-hand, over a long night of jaw to jaw, with the Greek King just before Christmas, and he won by telling him that he needed to abdicate in favor of his son, so that Greece can be a Democracy with a Regent, and with the Greek Premier, Papandreou, who was carried over from the wartime government of the Free Greeks, who where in exile in Egypt’s Cairo, and Alexandria… and where the brave free Greek Army had fought valiantly against Rommel in the battles of Tobruk, Tripoli, El-Alamein, and elsewhere in the deserts of the Northern African field of honor.

This was the Greek army that had now started coming back home and war weary had found an enemy n their own homes usurping their country’s government and freedom. Understandably they were pretty upset at the Communists who hadn’t fought in the war, and yet who were now seeking to turn the country “red” in obedience to Stalin and to the Soviet block communists and socialist republics.

Much bloodshed followed….

 

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And here is why Winston persisted, in instilling a Democracy in Athens so many years after her glorious era of Pericles, because in his mind he saw the future of Greece as pivotal for Western Civilization. He reckoned that if Greece fell, the whole foundation of Western liberal Democracies would be in terrible peril. And this is what he conveyed in his Athens iron Curtain speech, inaugurating the Athenian and the Greek People’s Freedom, by offering them UNITY and SELF DETERMINATION.

He promised the Greek people that he wold guarantee their Liberty, all over again after the overlong German occupation had come to an end, and certainly after this current communist siege — would be broken. He promised them Freedom and Democracy, but above all else he promised them to taste the “Sweet Fruits of Unity.” Winston Churchill had every reason to persist here in Greece, but in this speech he composed a sort of an inaugural address, because it meant a lot to him, and to the Greek People to become UNITED again. And to accomplish that, he had indeed ‘borrowed’ some ideas from the inauguration speech of his American idol; President Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson, was another much hated and despised patriot — because he was the man who wrote the declaration of Independence and was always considered a strong Republican. This Thomas Jefferson, who unlike Winston Churchill, was a rather shy, yet successful President for two consecutive terms, and was the man who defined the American Declaration of Independence. And who was the man who even today serves as the long departed amanuensis, of every Republican and Democrat in modern history. This man Thomas Jefferson is whom Winston Churchill tried to emulate, but he also presaged his speech, with his own ideas of the Iron curtain, of the much needed UNITY in the face of divisions and discord, and of the much needed Liberty — against the massively dehumanizing effects of worldwide communism and/or socialism. 

Here follows Winston Churchill’s Athens Liberation & Unity speech, his first version when he warned the world about the Iron Curtain, as delivered from the balcony of the hotel Grand Bretagne, facing the Houses of Parliament, and Constitution square. And you will see that as the story unfolds, it was here that he stayed at this Hotel overnight, before his talk, because he was meeting with the local political leaders in a CONFERENCE FOR NATIONAL UNITY, while unbeknownst to him the hotel’s foundations were being undermined and stuffed with more than two tons of dynamite, in an effort by the local communists, to blow him, and the Peace conference sky high. This wonderfully explosive “reception” for Winston Churchill was offered gratis by the Communist saboteurs and the nihilist terrorists, who wanted to blow him up, in order to scatter the hopes of the poor country for Unity, and also kill all the participants of the Peace Conference. Two birds with one explosion is what the Communists thought on the advise from the Kremlin, but happily for the rest of us — this wasn’t going to happen.

It was then that the tiny British force in Athens, as headed by General Scobie, and by the Prime Minister’s security detail, did not know of the existence of this plot, or even that the Terrorists had penetrated their perimeter, and were going to be blowing up the hotel, having stashed more than a ton of volatile explosives (German Penthrite) in the bowels of the sewage system beneath the hotel’s foundation. Somehow the communist terrorists had penetrated through all the perimeter defenses during the night in a well planned and well executed bloody sabotage scheme, having come in via the sewer system underneath the hotel’s basement, but failing to cover the wires leading out of the manholes three blocks away and spooled at the edge of the gutters to their roadblock from where they were going to push the electrical charge to detonate the explosive cache — they got spotted. The poorly concealed wires were spotted by alert British patrols and wisely the soldiers cut off the wires, before raising the alarm in haste, and thus before giving the clue to the terrorists, that their plan was exposed — thus depriving them of the timely opportunity to explode all of the people in the hotel to smithereens, and sending Churchill and all the Greek leadership to high heaven.

Amazingly, much like the original gun powder plot of Guy Fawkes against the English Parliament, this dastardly act was uncovered in the nick of time, and the detonation cable was severed. Should this large cache of penthrite dynamite, and nitroglycerine triggers, had been detonated timely, when the Prime Minister was sleeping, meeting, or even when he was speaking to the people, this would have been catastrophic not just for England and the British empire — but for the whole Free World, and especially for the Cause of Liberty and Democracy everywhere. As for Greece — this would have been the death knell of it.

Yet this dark cloud was not to be. A rather random yet fully providential deliverance, accorded the Prime Minister the opportunity to survive this assassination attempt and to go on, and “Speak” to the Free Athenian people, because the British engineers, uncovered the gunpowder plot, cut the electrical discharge cable, and saved the Prime Minister, from certain doom amongst the ruinous blast that was designed to reduce the whole hotel to rubble.

This is what Winston wrote in a telegram to his wife about his close brush with death in Athens on Christmas Day 1944: “You will have read about the plot to blow up HQ the Hotel Grande Bretagne. I do not think it was for my benefit. Still, a ton of dynamite was put in sewers by extremely skilled hands.”

The “skilled hands” belonged to the communists who wanted to assassinate Britain’s wartime leader and thus Churchill came within inches and within minutes of being killed by communist guerrillas towards the end of the second world war.

One of the Communist terrorists was Manolis Glezos who is now a 92 year old white haired unrepentant communist, serving as an Member of European Parliament in Brussels with the SYRIZA party, and who wanted to share his story for posterity in an interview with the Observer: “I will tell you something I have never told anyone: I carried the fuse wire myself, wire wound all around me, and I had to unravel it,” he said, explaining how he spent hours crawling through the sewerage system to plant the dynamite in the dead of night. “There were about 30 of us involved. We worked through the tunnels … we had people cover the grid lines, so scared we were of being heard. We crawled through all the shit and water and laid the dynamite right under the hotel.”  By the time the communists emerged, sodden and covered in excrement, there was enough explosive dynamite under the building “to blow it sky high.” Glezos went on to say: “It took me at least two hours laying the explosive material and two hours coming back, and when we came out, it was a matter of seconds, before it was ready to go.”

But in a twist of fate the attack was scuppered when members of the communist-led resistance movement, EAM, delayed the attack having learned that Churchill was going to speak on a specific time, and wanted to wait until then, to blow up the hotel. In the meantime the British engineers uncovered the plan, and put a stop to it, at the very last moment before Churchill took to the balcony. Here is an old newsreel of the BBC visually describing this event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkIqLajOGCc

Still after the dastardly plot was uncovered, Winston Churchill, remained famously unperturbed by his latest near death experience, or rather his brush with death, having already survived more than a dozen Nazi assassination attempts, and no doubt several more attempts to come from the communists and other nihilists — including this one.

The funny thing is that  the serious “Kill Churchill” NAZI assassins, went to such lengths to get rid of him, that one time they tried to blow him up by putting nitroglycerine inside chocolate wrappers and presenting him with an explosive chocolate bar… to eat.

Upon seeing this giant chocolate bar, Winston smelled a “rat” and he survived that assassination attempt too. He liked his chocolate — and the enemy knew it too — bit apparently not that much.

He said afterwards: Chocolate smells like chocolate — what can you do?

Still this time in Athens, he escaped unscathed, and unblemished, if not unperturbed, and he went on to deliver his speech. But his chocolate is another matter. He never went close to another big chocolate bar, after the infamous German attempt to assassinate him with the explosive bar of chocolate, and from then on he ate his chocolates in bon-bon form, straight from the box…

But the Athens bomb plot against his Life, was indeed, in a league of its own.

As the explosives were brought up from the sewers, it was discovered that the explosives used, as well as the detonators, were of German manufacture, German design, and freshly packaged in their Nazi swastika bearing boxes. This suggests that the Greek communists had cooperated with the retreating Germans, to blow up Churchill, and this attempt at his life, was a far bigger thing than just the ELAS – EAM scheme. Indeed it proves that the Greek Communists had come to terms with the German Nazis, and were currying favors back and forth, in dirty dealings between fascists and communists. And that they conspired together, to blow up the hotel Grand Bretagne,  because both deeply hated the idea of Liberty and Democracy that Winston Churchill fully represented, and also Stalin didn’t want to have his wartime heroic ally as a bitter enemy, now that his Red Army’s world conquest plans were unfolding in Europe and beyond. And that adds a far more sinister twist to the plot of the dirty deals the Greek communists were making with the Hun occupiers, because the old Russian German alliance between Stalin and Hitler in dismembering Poland — apparently was revived in the case of Greece and the Balkans. Indeed Molotov & Ribbentrop would have been proud of the Greek Communists and their German counterparts assisting each other in their evil aims. One more time the Greek communists were being used as pawns and minions, of Stalin and of the Soviet Union’s Politburo…

The would-be assassination attack, came mere days if not weeks after the Germans had retreated from Athens Greece, and it came as Churchill was attempting to broker a Peace agreement between the warring factions — while the newly liberated, yet fully divided country was hurtling headlong towards civil war. In short it was an opportune moment for mayhem and plenty of bloodshed.

Athens had been racked by violence after some provocateurs of the communists opened fire and the Greek security forces responded by opening fire against the demonstrators in the central Constitution square – in one of the most controversial episodes of the second world war. The end result is that they opened fire against a crowd of mainly unarmed civilians, who were unwisely demonstrating in support of the communist partisans in Syntagma Square, and killed at least twenty five of them, while injuring hundreds of others.

 

 

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A terrible day by any means. But it was a day that ushered in far more horrible days to come. The past friendships and alliances were shattered and friends became fast enemies. The communists used the sacrificial lambs as martyrs to further fan the passions and to allay any moves for reconciliation. There was a very poisoned atmosphere when Churchill visited Athens…

Today this reminds me of the bloody provocation episodes inside the Maidan square in the center of Kiev, in Ukraine, of February 20th of 2014, where another “agent provocateur” action from the communists, spawned another civil war. This time the attacks led to the violence that by the end of the day, claimed more than 50 people’s lives, many of them gunned down in the street by security forces. The violence led to the downfall of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Moscow called the 20th of February popular uprising an armed coup, and use it to justify the annexation of Crimea and it’s support for the separatists in Eastern Ukraine that led to the carving of the Ukraine into the Donetsk republic. The protest leaders, some of whom now hold positions of power in the new Ukraine, insist that full responsibility for the shootings lies with the security forces, acting on behalf of the previous government. And as we see in this country that wanted to break away from Moscow’s influence, Russia’s “agent provocateurs” caused the Maidan square provocation in Ukraine that led to this civil war that continues unabated today. A bloody fight with little civility, fought in the areas around Donetsk and in the East of the country, and it has resulted in a large scale loss of Ukrainian sovereignty, especially after the country lost the whole of Crimea and much more to Putin’s Russia. And in this case the communists employed again their old “agent provocateur” scheme and succeeded by firing bullets seemingly at random from tops of buildings — and causing security forces to fire inside an unarmed crowd of demonstrators. They did this in order to make the security forces fire back and kill unarmed civilians demonstrating in Kiev’s central square, and thus sow division and bloodshed amongst the people hoping to push them towards a civil war. And they succeeded… for now.

The communists recycle all of their old tricks all the time.

When will we ever learn?

Back in Greece the 3rd of December killings, which kicked off a wave of violence that is known in Greece as the “Dekemvriana” and resulted in the beginning of the Civil War, as an expression of the Cold War, as Churchill wrote in his memoirs. Today all neutral historians, fully regard this episode as the opening fusillade of shots that announced the beginning of the cold war by inaugurating Greece’s own Civil War that went on until 1949. This episode ranks as the one that rankled Churchill’s nerves more than anything else during that period and indeed back in Britain, where the public opinion was outraged about it, because they had been spoofed by Moscow’s position as presented in the mass media reports, including the ones from the international BBC news service.

And that’s another reason why Churchill had to go to Athens, because he wanted to broker a Peace agreement, since not only himself, but the whole of his own cabinet and the government were also quite unsettled by the news that the British and the Greek national army had turned against the very men and women who for years had been allies in the fight against Hitler’s Third Reich. Thus Churchill made the goodwill gesture of flying out to Greece in an attempt to broker peace. What he did not know was that his communist erstwhile “comrades” and friends, had planned a special explosive welcome for him, in the form of an operation designed to blow-up Churchill inside his Athens hotel — preferably while leading the Peace Conference, or while speaking in front of the cameras. These terrorists wanted to achieve maximum effect and publicity, as this was the instruction from their Moscow handlers…

And because after the earlier bloodletting in Constitution square with the “Dekemvriana,” Winston Churchill had ordered that the British troops should make every effort to pacify the city  of Athens, and gain control of as much of it as possible in order to push the communists out to the countryside — so that a Peace Deal can be brokered and a new Unity government of all Greek political ideologies, be born. Yet this effort at pacification of Athens was almost impossible to accomplish, with the few men of the Scottish paras Scobie had. So they asked help from the airforce, and from General Alexander, and only after much superior forces had arrived, and even then only with RAF aircraft support, they were able to drive out the communists and the terrorists, who controlled most all the neighborhoods of Athens. Because indeed these were the strongholds of the ELAS and the EAM guerrilla armies, and the British and Greek army tried to avoid bloodshed as much as possible. Still, only after ferocious fighting they managed to drive the numerically far superior communist armies out of the city, and into the countryside where they were going to continue the fight for another five years…

The terrorist plot to blow up Churchill — must be said that it was uncovered on time by the army engineers, and their swift action in de-mining the hotel, Grand Bretagne of Constitution square in Athens — not only saved Winston’s life, but it also saved the lives of the entire top leadership of the Greek political world and even that of the military, and religious top leaders.

Can you grasp the import of that measure of loss?

Can you understand what that massive loss of total leadership would mean?

Can you even visualize what the impact of that complete “decapitation” would mean for this small country?

Can you simply think of what this would mean for Greece fresh our of catastrophic war and occupation that had resulted in a real genocide of the Greek people?

In the eyes of history, isn’t this what the Communists had done in Poland when they decapitated the country by killing off all of it’s leadership in the Katyn forests?

Do you see the sinister plan of Stalin unfolding against the people of Greece?

Do you see Stalin the great butcher, and his Moscow communists doing in Athens during boxing day of 1944, the same thing they had done to Poland by decapitating the whole Leadership?

Do you understand the fate of Greece if all her leaders along with the head of the British government who was trying to broker a Peace Accord were blown sky high?

Isn’t it rather fitting for the Godless communists to want to blow up the whole leadership of a Christian nation in one fell swoop during Christmas Day — but it is also fitting for the Spirit of Divine Godly Grace to allow Christian people to fight back, by offering deliverance from Evil on the very same boxing day.

And that’s how the Christmas pudding of Winston Churchill was saved.

Indeed Winston was rather fond of that peculiarly tasting Christmas chocolate pudding, and to this day the hotel offers a version of it in the secret Churchill dining room. One should try this when in Grand Bretagne, where all the Peace Accord participants had Christmas dinner, with pudding, and were providentially delivered, through what Winston credited as a spot of Grace. And through what I call — the fearsome strength of the power of the prayers of all the Greek people who wanted Peace and Deliverance from Evil.

As for Winston’s mindset — by discovering this new Guy Fawkes terrorist plot in the midst of the 33-day communist led Red Terror for the takeover of Athens now euphemistically called “Dekemvriana” — Churchill’s fervent wish to stop Greece from “going red” was re-energized. After all with the plot against him — he was given adequate proof, and he now tasked his whole diplomatic and military effort at stopping the Russians from reaching the Mediterranean.

This is why it was vital to secure Greece. To pull in the Americans into the defense of Greece — he had to show them how vital Greece is in securing not only the Middle East, and the Suez canal, along with all the fast routes to North and East Africa, and India — but also the strongest Christian ally they could hope for, because he understood that the Muslim regimes east of Greece were good for nothing and that they would always fall back in alliance with the forces of evil.

So indeed the fight for Greece and the provocation that led to the “Dekemvriana” episodes of Athens — were not a Greek conflict, but part of the “Big Fight” at the beginning of the Cold War. A life and death “fight” that started as a civil war in Athens during the closing days of 1944, and continued till 1949, bleeding the hapless country. Indeed it started when ELAS, the communist army was renamed the “Democratic Army of Greece” and launched what indeed was a “Red Terror” belatedly claiming that they only practiced “Red Terror” during their retreat from Athens. However history shows that the communists had started their progroms ahead of the “Dekemvriana” and indeed they were responsible for the “red herring” actions of the “Agent-Provocateurs” in Athens that started the firing that led to bullets flying, and the killing of the peaceful protesters. It also led to the subsequent mass media blame, liberally thrown at the British led security forces and the Greek nationalists who saved Greece from sharing the same dystopian fate as the much maligned Soviet Republics of neighborring Albania and Bulgaria.

Because, we now know that it was the ELAS communists, who fired the first shots against the Security forces, and against the demonstrators, and thus offered the necessary provocation, that in turn was answered, and led to the firefight, that resulted in the hail of bullets that took the lives of the three innocent and peaceful young Athenian demonstrators…

 

 

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Sadly the Athenian demonstrators had been used as pawns of the Communists yet here we are, and the murdered demonstrators, can cast blame for eternity to the ideologues, the communists, and their terrorist sympathizers.

We now know conclusively through the Foreign Office archives, that were recently unclassified, that it was the communist ELAS army’s actions that led to this wanton slaughter, and also to the horrid Civil War, because the communists wanted to cause an unresolved crisis in Greece, since they had planned to invite the Red Army to come marching in, from their waiting positions on the Northern borders of the country — to ostensibly restore law and order. To prove the point let’s look at why ELAS took more than 35,000 innocent prisoners from amongst the Athenian citizens who were ideological opposites, and from the members of the Greek leadership, and Intelligentsia, when they retreated to the countryside where they settled amongst the mountainous regions fortified to fight a prolonged and bitter Civil War, that was to rage for another five years, to no good end for anybody. Today, it is clear to the historians, that they did this, only because they wanted to prod the country towards the second phase of the Civil War, which they were hoping to win with Russian help. So for now they wanted the prisoners, in order to use them as temporary hostages, and then turn them over to the Red Army who was surely going to kill them all, in order to “decapitate” the Greek leadership as soon as they came streaming in from the Northern Bulgarian border, on whose side they were waiting for the secret signal to cross over and occupy the country with their abundant mechanized divisions and armored tank regiments, of which Greece had none…

Yet Greece held, because of that speech that Churchill had delivered on Parliament Square, titled “The Sinews of Peace” where he detailed the dastardly plan of the Russians in such vivid and bloody terms that even Stalin feared to face this ferocious English-Man as an adversary, having seen what Winston did to Stalin’s old partner over the dismemberment of Poland — one Adolf Hitler, who was now no more.

And then … Winston Churchill, returned to Athens again.

Only six weeks after his Christmas eve radical honesty visit, to help the King abdicate and thus broker a Peace Accord and form a Government of National Unity as his gift to the Greek people — his demand of his paratroopers and general Scobie, to hold the Center of the City, as if they were defending again the straits of Thermopylae, with Leonidas and his 300 Spartans, fighting to the last man, had paid off dividend.

This time his speech was again delivered from the same balcony, of the same hotel, on the same Constitution Square, and was received by a multitude of Athenian citizens who had completely filled up the square, and cheered each and every word of his as it was delivered, even before the translator was able to translate Winston’s words into Greek. Churchill teared up, and he plowed ahead with crackling voice repeating his promise to help Greece exit the divisive Civil War and reconstitute PEACE. He spoke of Unity fiercely by saying this: “Let there be Unity. Let there be true and resolute comradeship. Let there be Greece for ever. Let there be Greece for all.”

And at this point the crowd burst into tears, along with the war weary Prime Minister, who felt the weight of victory weighing heavy on his stooped shoulders, that Churchill had carried the weight of the whole of the Free World upon, and was still fighting. Indeed at this point the PM was weighted down by years of battle stress, mental anguish,  and worries as he stood resilient in the face of fascism and wept in front of his Greek people clutching the balustrade of that fateful balcony on this blustery day of February the 14th of the year of the Lord 1945 that saw the first full glimmers of Hope for Greece’s Liberation and Democracy…

And in large measure this momentous speech is what helped Greece stand as a bulwark against worldwide communism, because even after December 1944, and after the months and years of violence that followed the Peace Treaty that came on February and it involved everybody in a National Unity government with a representative of the political spectrum cabinet — it lingered on as a slow burning Civil War for another five years. And yet Greece held, and held, even after this patron of the Greeks, Winston Churchill was driven from power, and he was replaced as Prime Minister in Great Britain’s government, and as the leader of the British Parliament. He was replaced by order of the British voters, with Clement Atlee, the Labour Party leader who had taken control of Britain, right from Winston’s hands, after the War’s Victorious end. This came to be the most astonishing act of popular betrayal towards Winston Churchill ever, and it rankled higher in his college of defeats than even his monumental blame he received for the failed campaign… in the Dardanelles.

Still even after his dismissal, this paragon of diplomacy helped the Greeks from the shadows and in the background, and through his strong Transatlantic relationship with the American administration of Harry Truman, along with his extensive network of diplomatic alliances. Winston went to bat for Greece and he personally advised the Greek Prime Minister Kosta Tsaldaris, to seek American help immediately & directly, because he had to face the probability of an imminent British withdrawal from Greece and from her defenses against the Communist guerrilla insurgents within, and against the Red Army at the borders all around them. To this end, Winston Churchill traveled to America as a private citizen, where he drummed up strong support for Greece, and for her valiant fight against the communist threat. And then when that emergency was plugged, and when it appeared that the Civil war was not tilting in favor of the National Unity government, and help was still very much needed — the Greek PM Kostas Tsaldaris promptly visited Washington to officially seek American assistance, in the exact terms that he were advised by Churchill. And that is when after a fortnight of soul searching amongst the American administration, he received President Truman’s assurance of continued support from American that will supplant the retreating British forces. This is how Greece was finally and firmly saved, and this heavy lifting, was all Winston Churchill’s doing.

Later, in it’s official response, to the Greek PM’s request for assistance — the US State Department followed the earlier Churchill doctrine, and announced that it had now formulated a clear plan for military intervention in Greece’s favor in order to save her, from the recurring communist terror, and from the Red Army menacing at her borders, and threatening to come in, in order to politely “Police” and ostensibly protect the Greek Socialists, Communists, and ordinary Citizens, from their own government.

What a ball of wax, and a mass of baloney, these Communists are made of… when they want to usurp a country and enslave it’s people is unbelievable.

Yet Churchill put paid to that one, and he stopped Stalin’s ambitious plan for annexing Greece, cold in it’s tracks. He single handedly stopped Greece from falling to the Soviet block, through his pivotal and constant diplomatic action, that  commenced in 1945-46, and culminated in March 1947, which formed the basis for an announcement by President Truman of what became known as the Truman Doctrine. The Truman Doctrine, was the expression of President Truman as “Being America’s intent to intervene with adequate force, wherever communism was considered a threat.” All that had passed in Greece on Britain’s initiative was the first salvo of the Cold War. And in 1947, two important events occurred almost simultaneously. First, President Truman spoke at the American Congress and stated that it was America’s job to contain Communism; and this became known as the Truman Doctrine. Second, General George Marshall came up with a plan to help Europe recover from the war using American money, to create production and stimulate demand, and of course consume American products and machinery for the betterment of all people. This became known as the Marshall Plan. The Soviets were enraged and prohibited any of the countries under their influence and command from accepting or even applying for any opportunities for assistance through the Marshal Plan, fearing that prosperity will challenge their control and domination. By 1947, Greece was the only country of Eastern Europe beyond the Iron Curtain that hadn’t fallen. Greece was not turned communist by a hair breath. The Communists in Greece were prevented from taking over the government by Winston Churchill’s forceful intervention of the British Army led by General Scobie, just in the nick of time. And later when the British forces left to return back home, the Peace was maintained by the Greek army themselves, ably assisted with officers, advisers, military personnel, and materiel, from the American armed forces, and even volunteers who came streaming to apply the Marshal plan and to help the ancient cradle of Western Civilization recover it’s Liberty and Democracy. From University professors to agricultural planners, and industrial engineers, along with shipping and logistics optimizers, and other professionals — all came from all states of America to help. Even Greek immigrants to American started returning to help fix the country.

That this new Victory for Europe, came to pass, was singly because of Churchill enunciating the Anti-Communist policy that the Truman doctrine came to describe. And since America was becoming increasingly more powerful with it’s newly minted and growing nuclear weapons arsenal, and before the parity of those weapons with the Soviet Union was arrived at — the United States was sufficiently awakened to Greece’s fate that they were going to act regardless of the Isolationist feelings that prevailed again after the Second World War. Because by this time, America was well aware, and sufficiently alarmed by the growth of Soviet power, to the extent that when the British PM Clement Atlee, told President Truman, that the British public could no longer afford to keep their soldiers in Greece — President Truman stepped in boldly, to take over their position.

In March 1947, President Truman, indeed told the American Congress that it was primarily America’s job to stop communism from growing any stronger around the World. This clarion call is what later came to be called the Truman Doctrine. It is often said that Truman advocated containment — stopping the Soviet getting any more powerful, but this was Churchill’s message in exact wording, since Truman never uttered this word, and all the knowledgable Americans in authority spoke simply of “rolling back” communism.

In June 1947, General George Marshall made a visit to Europe to see what was needed to secure economic development in order to keep the Peace for a little while longer. After speaking with Churchill, he fell in with Winston’s point of view because he came to see and realize that the whole of Europe was about to turn Communist, because they were so poor. Upon returning back home, Marshall and Truman asked Congress for $17 billion to fund the European Recovery Program, nicknamed the Marshall Plan – in order to get the economy of Europe jump started and going forward all over again. Congress at first balked and hesitated, but ultimately agreed in March 1948, when Czechoslovakia turned Communist. The Marshal Plan aid was given in the form of food, in the form of grants to buy agricultural and industrial equipment, in the form of infrastructure improvements, in the form of transport systems, and everything else “from medicine to mules” and from ships to bridges. Upwards of 75% of the Marshal plan money was used to buy raw products and commodities from US suppliers: $3.5 billion was spent on raw materials; $3.2 billion on food, feed and fertiliser; $1.9 billion on machinery and vehicles; and $1.6 billion on fuel etc. Stalin sadly forbade all the Communist member countries of the Cominform, from even applying for, and from even receiving gratis any of the Marshall plan’s American Economic Aid. And since all the Eastern European countries were “voluntary” members of Cominform — none of the Soviet block countries were able to be helped and that accounts to a great degree for why their economies were so far behind their Western European liberal democracies…

This was all foreseen by Winston Churchill since long before the end of the war, and it is memorialized in the Published Memoirs of his personal physician who reported that the prime minister had always fretted about a Russian takeover in Europe, telling his GP Lord Moran this: “Good God, can’t you see that the Russians are spreading across Europe like a tide? They invaded Poland, and there is nothing to prevent them from marching into Turkey and Greece.”

Yet the fact remained that the British army in Athens, had for a brief moment received the help of the infamous Security Battalions, which had served under German command during Hitler’s brutal occupation of Greece – to secure Order in Athens and to successfully keep communism at bay during the month of December 1944. This is a rather sad story and surely unfit for the great man, and for his leadership. Yet as the old saying goes: Strange times, make for strange bedfellows. No excuses here, but expedience and end results seem to have steadied his hand… even if we assume that he fully knew about the British forces cooperating with the erstwhile Greek Security Services, and how dirty they might have been. Yet we should not forget that Churchill had gone to Greece to broker a fragile peace after a terrible war, and amidst a raging Civil War, in a bid to protect Greece’s Liberty and Democracy, and also in order to prevent the small country from going from one conqueror to another. Yet another even more sinister than the last one…

And indeed these were strange and stained times for all those concerned, but above all else for the British commanders who always chose their bedfellows rather well. None more so than Winston Churchill, who saw himself as another Marlborough — savior of the Free World. And to think that he had to play along with these really unsavory characters in order to get his wish of liberating Athens from the communists is uncharacteristic. The end did not always justify the means. Not for Winston. And there certainly was no Churchill involvement on the cooperation between Scobie’s forces and the existing Greek Security forces that had been active with Germans. There could never have been Churchill’s approval to such a plan. Never. Not even as a tacit agreement, or even as a nod, or a wink-wink. To call Churchill a cynic is impossible, and further to accuse him of knowing the situation of the involvement of British and Collaborators in Athens, and approving of it — clearly it is impossible and improbable. As for me, the necessary words to describe such betrayal of his principles — could never even be brought into apposition.

Indeed we can always describe Churchill as a Statesman full of skepticism, yet heroic and perhaps full of improvised pragmatism. That, yes. He was enthusiastic about it. But we could never accuse him of degraded and cynical statecraft. That is not even thinkable.

Yet no matter what the communists say that happened — in this case — Winston’s plan worked. It worked because with minimal loss of life, the Greek government of National Unity under Archbishop Damaskenos, a beloved patriarch of the Greek people, acting as Regent, came together. They came together and formed a cabinet, and ultimately succeeded. Some weeks later his plan would be followed-up with the Peace Treaty of Varkiza that he had tried to broker from the beginning of his arrival in Athens. This Peace Treaty put an end to the first chapter of the Civil War… The Treaty of Varkiza (also known as the Varkiza Pact or the Varkiza Peace Agreement) was signed in Varkiza (near Athens) on February 12, 1945 between the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for EAM-ELAS. One of the aspects of the accord (Article IX) called for a plebiscite to be held within the year in order to resolve any problems with the Greek Constitution. This plebiscite would help establish elections and thus create a constituent assembly that would draft a new organic law. In another aspect of the treaty, both signatories agreed that the Allies send overseers in order to verify the validity of the elections. The peace accord also promised that members of the EAM-ELAS would be permitted to participate in political activities if they surrendered their weapons. Moreover, all civil and political liberties would be guaranteed along with the undertaking by the Greek government towards establishing a non-political national army.

 

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At that point Churchill removed his finger from the breach in the dam, and let the Greeks take control of their own destiny from them on, with minimal interference… And as always internal divisions and corruption blended with discontent and lack of vision have all conspired to sink the country to a new low — where she is in bondage to the Germans once again. And she suffers what the weak must suffer, in this merciless game of “Might Makes Right” that her German occupiers firmly adhere to.

Sadly there is no Winston Churchill, nor the Oracle of Delphi to give them sage advise anymore.

Poor Greeks — when will they learn from their mistakes?

And for us, at long last, here is his providential talk, that by an accident of fate Winston managed to deliver because first he survived since the hotel’s imminent demise, was averted, and secondly, because although he got on the balcony unprotected from snipper fire except wearing his so called “bullet proof pinstripes” as he often joked about his City suit, and he delivered this amazing 15 minute speech unhurt by any flying bullets, as he opened the Athens Peace Conference where he invited the Greeks to find common ground amongst themselves… and to enter into the Peace Accord that is described well through his vision on the speech about Peace that he started in Athens and he finished in Missouri…

Out of the his Christmas speech in Athens during the Peace Conference that led to the Greek Peace Accord, and out of his related experience there, came the beginning of the most famous Cold War speech that put the Transatlantic Alliance on a new War footing and towards a new policy of Detente against the new enemy of Freedom that the Worldwide Communist menace presented.

Such is the story of the development of this important speech, that came to be the defining moment of Western Civilization’s renewed development towards Liberty and Democracy, after the Second World War.

And here, more than a year after the Athenian “Guy Fawkes” episode; is Winston Churchill presenting his “Sinews of Peace” lecture (the Iron Curtain Speech), at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri on March 5, 1946 .

 

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“President McCluer, ladies and gentlemen, and last, but certainly not least, the President of the United States of America:

I am very glad indeed to come to Westminster College this afternoon, and I am complimented that you should give me a degree from an institution whose reputation has been so solidly established. The name “Westminster” somehow or other seems familiar to me. I feel as if I have heard of it before. Indeed now that I come to think of it, it was at Westminster that I received a very large part of my education in politics, dialectic, rhetoric, and one or two other things. In fact we have both been educated at the same, or similar, or, at any rate, kindred establishments.

It is also an honor, ladies and gentlemen, perhaps almost unique, for a private visitor to be introduced to an academic audience by the President of the United States. Amid his heavy burdens, duties, and responsibilities–unsought but not recoiled from–the President has traveled a thousand miles to dignify and magnify our meeting here to-day and to give me an opportunity of addressing this kindred nation, as well as my own countrymen across the ocean, and perhaps some other countries too. The President has told you that it is his wish, as I am sure it is yours, that I should have full liberty to give my true and faithful counsel in these anxious and baffling times. I shall certainly avail myself of this freedom, and feel the more right to do so because any private ambitions I may have cherished in my younger days have been satisfied beyond my wildest dreams. Let me however make it clear that I have no official mission or status of any kind, and that I speak only for myself. There is nothing here but what you see.

I can therefore allow my mind, with the experience of a lifetime, to play over the problems which beset us on the morrow of our absolute victory in arms, and to try to make sure with what strength I have that what has gained with so much sacrifice and suffering shall be preserved for the future glory and safety of mankind.

Ladies and gentlemen, the United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement. Opportunity is here and now, clear and shining for both our countries. To reject it or ignore it or fritter it away will bring upon us all the long reproaches of the after-time. It is necessary that the constancy of mind, persistency of purpose, and the grand simplicity of decision shall rule and guide the conduct of the English-speaking peoples in peace as they did in war. We must, and I believe we shall, prove ourselves equal to this severe requirement.

President McCluer, when American military men approach some serious situation they are wont to write at the head of their directive the words “over-all strategic concept”. There is wisdom in this, as it leads to clarity of thought. What then is the over-all strategic concept which we should inscribe to-day? 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. And here I speak particularly of the myriad cottage or apartment homes where the wage-earner strives amid the accidents and difficulties of life to guard his wife and children from privation and bring the family up the fear of the Lord, or upon ethical conceptions which often play their potent part.

To give security to these countless homes, they must be shielded form two gaunt marauders, war and tyranny. We al know the frightful disturbance in which the ordinary family is plunged when the curse of war swoops down upon the bread-winner and those for whom he works and contrives. The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, and of large parts of Asia glares us in the eyes. When the designs of wicked men or the aggressive urge of mighty States dissolve over large areas the frame of civilized society, humble folk are confronted with difficulties with which they cannot cope. For them is all distorted, all is broken, all is even ground to pulp.

When I stand here this quiet afternoon I shudder to visualize what is actually happening to millions now and what is going to happen in this period when famine stalks the earth. None can compute what has been called “the unestimated sum of human pain”. Our supreme task and duty is to guard the homes of the common people from the horrors and miseries of another war. We are all agreed on that.

Our American military colleagues, after having proclaimed their “over-all strategic concept” and computed available resources, always proceed to the next step — namely, the method. Here again there is widespread agreement. A world organization has already been erected for the prime purpose of preventing war. UNO, the successor of the League of Nations, with the decisive addition of the United States and all that that means, is already at work. 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 a rock. Anyone can see with his eyes open that our path will be difficult and also long, but if we persevere together as we did in the two world wars — though not, alas, in the interval between them — I cannot doubt that we shall achieve our common purpose in the end.

I have, however, a definite and practical proposal to make for action. Courts and magistrates may be set up but they cannot function without sheriffs and constables. The United Nations Organization must immediately begin to be equipped with an international armed force. In such a matter we can only go step by step, but we must begin now. I propose that each of the Powers and States should be invited to dedicate a certain number of air squadrons to the service of the world organization. These squadrons would be trained and prepared in their own countries, but would move around in rotation from one country to another. They would wear the uniforms of their own countries but with different badges. They would not be required to act against their own nation, but in other respects they would be directed by the world organization. This might be started on a modest scale and it would grow as confidence grew. I wished to see this done after the first world war, and I devoutly trust that it may be done forthwith.

It would nevertheless, ladies and gentlemen, be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge or experience of the atomic bomb, which the United States, great Britain, and Canada now share, to the world organization, while still in its infancy. It would be criminal madness to cast it adrift in this still agitated and un-united world. No one country has slept less well in their beds because this knowledge and the method and the raw materials to apply it, are present largely retained in American hands. I do not believe we should all have slept so soundly had the positions been reversed and some Communist or neo-Facist State monopolized for the time being these dread agencies. The fear of them alone might easily have been used to enforce totalitarian systems upon the free democratic world, with consequences appalling to human imagination. God has willed that this shall not be and we have at least a breathing space to set our world house in order before this peril has to be encountered: and even then, if no effort is spared, we should still possess so formidable a superiority as to impose effective deterrents upon its employment, or threat of employment, by others. Ultimately, when the essential brotherhood of man is truly embodied and expressed in a world organization with all the necessary practical safeguards to make it effective, these powers would naturally be confided to that world organizations.

Now I come to the second of the two marauders, to the second danger which threatens the cottage homes, and the ordinary people — namely, tyranny. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the United States and throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments to a degree which is overwhelming and contrary to every principle of democracy. The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war. but we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.

All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by time and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom which should lie in every cottage home. Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we practice — let us practice what we preach.

though I have now stated the two great dangers which menace the home of the people, War and Tyranny, I have not yet spoken of poverty and privation which are in many cases the prevailing anxiety. But if the dangers of war and tyranny are removed, there is no doubt that science and cooperation can bring in the next few years, certainly in the next few decades, to the world, newly taught in the sharpening school of war, an expansion of material well-being beyond anything that has yet occurred in human experience.

Now, at this sad and breathless moment, we are plunged in the hunger and distress which are the aftermath of our stupendous struggle; but this will pass and may pass quickly, and there is no reason except human folly or sub-human crime which should deny to all the nations the inauguration and enjoyment of an age of plenty. I have often used words which I learn fifty years ago from a great Irish-American orator, a friend of mine, Mr. Bourke Cockran, “There is enough for all. The earth is a generous mother; she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and peace.” So far I feel that we are in full agreement.

Now, while still pursing the method — the method of realizing our over-all strategic concept, I come to the crux of what I have traveled here to say. Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States of America. Ladies and gentlemen, this is no time for generality, and I will venture to the precise. Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relations between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges. It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future.

the United States has already a Permanent Defense Agreement with the Dominion of Canada, which is so devotedly attached to the British Commonwealth and the Empire. This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have been made under formal alliances. This principle should be extended to all the British Commonwealths with full reciprocity. Thus, whatever happens, and thus only, shall we be secure ourselves and able to works together for the high and simple causes that are dear to us and bode no ill to any. Eventually there may come — I feel eventually there will come — the principle of common citizenship, but that we may be content to leave to destiny, whose outstretched arm many of us can already clearly see.

There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding loyalties to the World Organization? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organization will achieve its full stature and strength. There are already the special United States relations with Canada that I have just mentioned, and there are the relations between the United States and the South American Republics. We British have also our twenty years Treaty of Collaboration and Mutual Assistance with Soviet Russia. I agree with Mr. Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, that it might well be a fifty years treaty so far as we are concerned. We aim at nothing but mutual assistance and collaboration with Russia. The British have an alliance with Portugal unbroken since the year 1384, and which produced fruitful results at a critical moment in the recent war. None of these clash with the general interest of a world agreement, or a world organization; on the contrary, they help it. “In my father’s house are many mansions.” Special associations between members of the United Nations which have no aggressive point against any other country, which harbor no design incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, far from being harmful, are beneficial and, as I believe, indispensable.

I spoke earlier, ladies and gentlemen, of the Temple of Peace. Workmen from all countries must build that temple. If two of the workmen know each other particularly well and are old friends, if their families are intermingled, if they have “faith in each other’s purpose, hope in each other’s future and charity towards each other’s shortcomings” — to quote some good words I read here the other day — why cannot they work together at the common task as friends and partners? Why can they not share their tools and thus increase each other’s working powers? Indeed they must do so or else the temple may not be built, or, being built, it may collapse, and we should all be proved again unteachable and have to go and try to learn again for a third time in a school of war incomparably more rigorous than that from which we have just been released. The dark ages may return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science, and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction. Beware, I say; time may be short. Do not let us take the course of allowing events to drift along until it is too late. If there is to be a fraternal association of the kind of I have described, with all the strength and security which both our countries can derive from it, let us make sure that that great fact is known to the world, and that it plays its part in steadying and stabilizing the foundations of peace. There is the path of wisdom. Prevention is better than the cure.

A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately light by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its Communist international organization intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytizing tendencies. I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade, Marshall Stalin. There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain — and I doubt not here also — towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas. Above all, we welcome, or should welcome, constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic. It is my duty however, for I am sure you would wish me to state the facts as I see them to you. It is my duty to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe.

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.

Turkey and Persia are both profoundly alarmed and disturbed at the claims which are being made upon them and at the pressure being exerted by the Moscow Government. An attempt is being made by the Russians in Berlin to build up a quasi-Communist party in their zone of occupied Germany by showing special favors to groups of left-wing German leaders. At the end of the fighting last June, the American and British Armies withdrew westward, in accordance with an earlier agreement, to a depth at some points of 150 miles upon a front of nearly four hundred miles, in order to allow our Russian allies to occupy this vast expanse of territory which the Western Democracies had conquered.

If no the Soviet Government tries, by separate action , to build up a pro-Communist Germany in their areas, this will cause new serious difficulties in the American and British zones, and will give the defeated Germans the power of putting themselves up to auction between the Soviets and the Western Democracies. Whatever conclusions may be drawn from these facts — and facts they are — this is certainly not the Liberated Europe we fought to build up. Nor is it one which contains the essentials of permanent peace.

The safety of the world, ladies and gentlemen, requires a new unity in Europe, from which no nation should be permanently outcast. It is from the quarrels of the strong parent races in Europe that the world wars we have witnessed, or which occurred in former times, have sprung. Twice in our own lifetime we have seen the United States, against their wished and their traditions, against arguments, the force of which it is impossible not to comprehend, twice we have seen them drawn by irresistible forces, into these wars in time to secure the victory of the good cause, but only after frightful slaughter and devastation have occurred. Twice the United State has had to send several millions of its young men across the Atlantic to find the war; but now war can find any nation, wherever it may dwell between dusk and dawn. Surely we should work with conscious purpose for a grand pacification of Europe, within the structure of the United Nations and in accordance with our Charter. That I feel opens a course of policy of very great importance.

In front of the iron curtain which lies across Europe are other causes for anxiety. In Italy the Communist Party is seriously hampered by having to support the Communist-trained Marshal Tito’s claims to former Italian territory at the head of the Adriatic. Nevertheless the future of Italy hangs in the balance. Again one cannot imagine a regenerated Europe without a strong France. All my public life I never last faith in her destiny, even in the darkest hours. I will not lose faith now. However, in a great number of countries, far from the Russian frontiers and throughout the world, Communist fifth columns are established and work in complete unity and absolute obedience to the directions they receive from the Communist center. Except in the British Commonwealth and in the United States where Communism is in its infancy, the Communist parties or fifth columns constitute a growing challenge and peril to Christian civilization. These are somber facts for anyone to have recite on the morrow a victory gained by so much splendid comradeship in arms and in the cause of freedom and democracy; but we should be most unwise not to face them squarely while time remains.

The outlook is also anxious in the Far East and especially in Manchuria. The Agreement which was made at Yalta, to which I was a party, was extremely favorable to Soviet Russia, but it was made at a time when no one could say that the German war might no extend all through the summer and autumn of 1945 and when the Japanese war was expected by the best judges to last for a further 18 months from the end of the German war. In this country you all so well-informed about the Far East, and such devoted friends of China, that I do not need to expatiate on the situation there.

I have, however, felt bound to portray the shadow which, alike in the west and in the east, falls upon the world. I was a minister at the time of the Versailles treaty and a close friend of Mr. Lloyd-George, who was the head of the British delegation at Versailles. I did not myself agree with many things that were done, but I have a very strong impression in my mind of that situation, and I find it painful to contrast it with that which prevails now. In those days there were high hopes and unbounded confidence that the wars were over and that the League of Nations would become all-powerful. I do not see or feel that same confidence or event he same hopes in the haggard world at the present time.

On the other hand, ladies and gentlemen, I repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable; still more that it is imminent. It is because I am sure that our fortunes are still in our own hands and that we hold the power to save the future, that I feel the duty to speak out now that I have the occasion and the opportunity to do so. I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains, is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries. Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.

From what I have seen of our Russian friends and Allies during the war, I am convinced that there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness, especially military weakness. For that reason the old doctrine of a balance of power is unsound. We cannot afford, if we can help it, to work on narrow margins, offering temptations to a trial of strength. If the Western Democracies stand together in strict adherence to the principles will be immense and no one is likely to molest them. If however they become divided of falter in their duty and if these all-important years are allowed to slip away then indeed catastrophe may overwhelm us all.

Last time I saw it all coming and I cried aloud to my own fellow-countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention. Up till the year 1933 or even 1935, Germany might have been saved from the awful fate which has overtaken here and we might all have been spared the miseries Hitler let loose upon mankind. there never was a war in history easier to prevent by timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe. It could have been prevented in my belief without the firing of a single shot, and Germany might be powerful, prosperous and honored today; but no one would listen and one by one we were all sucked into the awful whirlpool. We surely, ladies and gentlemen, I put it to you, surely, we must not let it happen again. This can only be achieved by reaching now, in 1946, by reaching a good understanding on all points with Russia under the general authority of the United Nations Organization and by the maintenance of that good understanding through many peaceful years, by the whole strength of the English-speaking world and all its connections. There is the solution which I respectfully offer to you in this Address to which I have given the title, “The Sinews of Peace”.

Let no man underrate the abiding power of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Because you see the 46 millions in our island harassed about their food supply, of which they only grow one half, even in war-time, or because we have difficulty in restarting our industries and export trade after six years of passionate war effort, do not suppose we shall not come through these dark years of privation as we have come through the glorious years of agony. Do not suppose that half a century from now you will not see 70 or 80 millions of Britons spread about the world united in defense of our traditions, and our way of life, and of the world causes which you and we espouse. If the population of the English-speaking Commonwealths be added to that of the United States with all that such co-operation implies in the air, on the sea, all over the globe and in science and in industry, and in moral force, there will be no quivering, precarious balance of power to offer its temptation to ambition or adventure.

On the contrary there will be an overwhelming assurance of security. If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one’s land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men; if all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the highroads of the future will be clear, not only for our time, but for a century to come.”

 

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And here is another inspiration of Winston Churchill coming from the first inaugural speech of Thomas Jefferson. This is the person that Winston loved most as an inspiration for a Leader, and also as a great writer, a great Statesman, and a discerning Political Philosopher. But he liked Jefferson in some good measure, also because he was the wise man who frequently used pithy quotes, and zingy aphorisms, to make a point across the spectrum of political opinion and party identification. It has been said the quote that Churchill loved more than any other that passed the lips of any American President was this one: “The God who gave us Life — also gave us Liberty”  

 

 

 

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Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address

March 4, 1801

FRIENDS AND FELLOW-CITIZENS,

“Called upon to undertake the duties of the first executive office of our country, I avail myself of the presence of that portion of my fellow-citizens which is here assembled to express my grateful thanks for the favor with which they have been pleased to look toward me, to declare a sincere consciousness that the task is above my talents, and that I approach it with those anxious and awful presentiments which the greatness of the charge and the weakness of my powers so justly inspire. A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye — when I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking. Utterly, indeed, should I despair did not the presence of many whom I here see remind me that in the other high authorities provided by our Constitution I shall find resources of wisdom, of virtue, and of zeal on which to rely under all difficulties. To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions of legislation, and to those associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the conflicting elements of a troubled world.

During the contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think; but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good. All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression. Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world’s best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter — with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.

About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations. Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people — a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.

I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it. Without pretensions to that high confidence you reposed in our first and greatest revolutionary character, whose preeminent services had entitled him to the first place in his country’s love and destined for him the fairest page in the volume of faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs. I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. The approbation implied by your suffrage is a great consolation to me for the past, and my future solicitude will be to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.

Relying, then, on the patronage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choice it is in your power to make. And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.”

 

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                                      Thomas Jefferson Second Inaugural Address

Second Inaugural Address

March 4, 1805

“Proceeding, fellow citizens, to that qualification which the constitution requires, before my entrance on the charge again conferred upon me, it is my duty to express the deep sense I entertain of this new proof of confidence from my fellow citizens at large, and the zeal with which it inspires me, so to conduct myself as may best satisfy their just expectations.

On taking this station on a former occasion, I declared the principles on which I believed it my duty to administer the affairs of our commonwealth. My conscience tells me that I have, on every occasion, acted up to that declaration, according to its obvious import, and to the understanding of every candid mind.

In the transaction of your foreign affairs, we have endeavored to cultivate the friendship of all nations, and especially of those with which we have the most important relations. We have done them justice on all occasions, favored where favor was lawful, and cherished mutual interests and intercourse on fair and equal terms. We are firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction, that with nations, as with individuals, our interests soundly calculated, will ever be found inseparable from our moral duties; and history bears witness to the fact, that a just nation is taken on its word, when recourse is had to armaments and wars to bridle others.

At home, fellow citizens, you best know whether we have done well or ill. The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These covering our land with officers, and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of produce and property. If among these taxes some minor ones fell which had not been inconvenient, it was because their amount would not have paid the officers who collected them, and because, if they had any merit, the state authorities might adopt them, instead of others less approved.

The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles, is paid cheerfully by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being collected on our seaboards and frontiers only, and incorporated with the transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and pride of an American to ask, what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States? These contributions enable us to support the current expenses of the government, to fulfil contracts with foreign nations, to extinguish the native right of soil within our limits, to extend those limits, and to apply such a surplus to our public debts, as places at a short day their final redemption, and that redemption once effected, the revenue thereby liberated may, by a just repartition among the states, and a corresponding amendment of the constitution, be applied, _in time of peace_, to rivers, canals, roads, arts, manufactures, education, and other great objects within each state. _In time of war_, if injustice, by ourselves or others, must sometimes produce war, increased as the same revenue will be increased by population and consumption, and aided by other resources reserved for that crisis, it may meet within the year all the expenses of the year, without encroaching on the rights of future generations, by burdening them with the debts of the past. War will then be but a suspension of useful works, and a return to a state of peace, a return to the progress of improvement.

I have said, fellow citizens, that the income reserved had enabled us to extend our limits; but that extension may possibly pay for itself before we are called on, and in the meantime, may keep down the accruing interest; in all events, it will repay the advances we have made. I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by some, from a candid apprehension that the enlargement of our territory would endanger its union. But who can limit the extent to which the federative principle may operate effectively? The larger our association, the less will it be shaken by local passions; and in any view, is it not better that the opposite bank of the Mississippi should be settled by our own brethren and children, than by strangers of another family? With which shall we be most likely to live in harmony and friendly intercourse?

In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.

The aboriginal inhabitants of these countries I have regarded with the commiseration their history inspires. Endowed with the faculties and the rights of men, breathing an ardent love of liberty and independence, and occupying a country which left them no desire but to be undisturbed, the stream of overflowing population from other regions directed itself on these shores; without power to divert, or habits to contend against, they have been overwhelmed by the current, or driven before it; now reduced within limits too narrow for the hunter’s state, humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts; to encourage them to that industry which alone can enable them to maintain their place in existence, and to prepare them in time for that state of society, which to bodily comforts adds the improvement of the mind and morals. We have therefore liberally furnished them with the implements of husbandry and household use; we have placed among them instructors in the arts of first necessity; and they are covered with the aegis of the law against aggressors from among ourselves.

But the endeavors to enlighten them on the fate which awaits their present course of life, to induce them to exercise their reason, follow its dictates, and change their pursuits with the change of circumstances, have powerful obstacles to encounter; they are combated by the habits of their bodies, prejudice of their minds, ignorance, pride, and the influence of interested and crafty individuals among them, who feel themselves something in the present order of things, and fear to become nothing in any other. These persons inculcate a sanctimonious reverence for the customs of their ancestors; that whatsoever they did, must be done through all time; that reason is a false guide, and to advance under its counsel, in their physical, moral, or political condition, is perilous innovation; that their duty is to remain as their Creator made them, ignorance being safety, and knowledge full of danger; in short, my friends, among them is seen the action and counteraction of good sense and bigotry; they, too, have their anti-philosophers, who find an interest in keeping things in their present state, who dread reformation, and exert all their faculties to maintain the ascendency of habit over the duty of improving our reason, and obeying its mandates.

In giving these outlines, I do not mean, fellow citizens, to arrogate to myself the merit of the measures; that is due, in the first place, to the reflecting character of our citizens at large, who, by the weight of public opinion, influence and strengthen the public measures; it is due to the sound discretion with which they select from among themselves those to whom they confide the legislative duties; it is due to the zeal and wisdom of the characters thus selected, who lay the foundations of public happiness in wholesome laws, the execution of which alone remains for others; and it is due to the able and faithful auxiliaries, whose patriotism has associated with me in the executive functions.

During this course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been levelled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science, are deeply to be regretted, inasmuch as they tend to lessen its usefulness, and to sap its safety; they might, indeed, have been corrected by the wholesome punishments reserved and provided by the laws of the several States against falsehood and defamation; but public duties more urgent press on the time of public servants, and the offenders have therefore been left to find their punishment in the public indignation.

Nor was it uninteresting to the world, that an experiment should be fairly and fully made, whether freedom of discussion, unaided by power, is not sufficient for the propagation and protection of truth — whether a government, conducting itself in the true spirit of its constitution, with zeal and purity, and doing no act which it would be unwilling the whole world should witness, can be written down by falsehood and defamation. The experiment has been tried; you have witnessed the scene; our fellow citizens have looked on, cool and collected; they saw the latent source from which these outrages proceeded; they gathered around their public functionaries, and when the constitution called them to the decision by suffrage, they pronounced their verdict, honorable to those who had served them, and consolatory to the friend of man, who believes he may be intrusted with his own affairs.

No inference is here intended, that the laws, provided by the State against false and defamatory publications, should not be enforced; he who has time, renders a service to public morals and public tranquillity, in reforming these abuses by the salutary coercions of the law; but the experiment is noted, to prove that, since truth and reason have maintained their ground against false opinions in league with false facts, the press, confined to truth, needs no other legal restraint; the public judgment will correct false reasonings and opinions, on a full hearing of all parties; and no other definite line can be drawn between the inestimable liberty of the press and its demoralizing licentiousness. If there be still improprieties which this rule would not restrain, its supplement must be sought in the censorship of public opinion.

Contemplating the union of sentiment now manifested so generally, as auguring harmony and happiness to our future course, I offer to our country sincere congratulations. With those, too, not yet rallied to the same point, the disposition to do so is gaining strength; facts are piercing through the veil drawn over them; and our doubting brethren will at length see, that the mass of their fellow citizens, with whom they cannot yet resolve to act, as to principles and measures, think as they think, and desire what they desire; that our wish, as well as theirs, is, that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good, that peace be cultivated, civil and religious liberty unassailed, law and order preserved; equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers. When satisfied of these views, it is not in human nature that they should not approve and support them; in the meantime, let us cherish them with patient affection; let us do them justice, and more than justice, in all competitions of interest; and we need not doubt that truth, reason, and their own interests, will at length prevail, will gather them into the fold of their country, and will complete their entire union of opinion, which gives to a nation the blessing of harmony, and the benefit of all its strength.

I shall now enter on the duties to which my fellow citizens have again called me, and shall proceed in the spirit of those principles which they have approved. I fear not that any motives of interest may lead me astray; I am sensible of no passion which could seduce me knowingly from the path of justice; but the weakness of human nature, and the limits of my own understanding, will produce errors of judgment sometimes injurious to your interests. I shall need, therefore, all the indulgence I have heretofore experienced — the want of it will certainly not lessen with increasing years. I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our forefathers, as Israel of old, from their native land, and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with his providence, and our riper years with his wisdom and power; and to whose goodness I ask you to join with me in supplications, that he will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures, that whatsoever they do, shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.”

 

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Heavy stuff eh? Methinks that in this time of troubles and divisions, let us not forget the other words of Thomas Jefferson that are my own favorite words: “Let us not allow those evil men, sowing tears in the fabric of our nation, and division amongst us, to prevail upon our hearts…”

And then let’s go along with Winston Churchill and me — to read the great speech of the other standard bearer of Democracy, President Abraham Lincoln, as he spoke with conviction for his VISION of UNITING a country that had already been divided and at war with itself. This is the message Abe Lincoln gave in his first inaugural address showing his respect for the Union, his Love of country, and his respect for human rights for all people and for the Constitution. Winston Churchill was suitably impressed with this awesome speech.

Lincoln became president in 1861 as the southern states were leaving the Union. The national upheaval of secession was a grim reality at Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration. Jefferson Davis had been inaugurated as the President of the Confederacy two weeks earlier. The former Illinois Congressman had arrived in Washington by a secret route to avoid danger, and his movements were guarded by General Winfield Scott’s soldiers. Ignoring advice to the contrary, the President-elect rode with President Buchanan in an open carriage to the Capitol, where he took the oath of office on the East Portico. Chief Justice Roger Taney administered the executive oath. Already the South had it’s own President of the seven states, that had left the Union and yet, still Lincoln addressed his remarks to both the North and to the Southern secessionists.  This inaugural address is considered one of America’s great speeches, and its dramatic conclusion is one of Lincoln’s most often quoted passages.

“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature,” Lincoln said.

 

 

 

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Here is Lincoln’s speech in it’s entirety:

 

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Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

March 4, 1861

FELLOW CITIZENS of the United States,

“Fellow-Citizens of the United States:

In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President “before he enters on the execution of this office.”

I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that–

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

‘Resolved’, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause–as cheerfully to one section as to another.

There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution–to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause “shall be delivered up” their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority, but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is done. And should anyone in any case be content that his oath shall go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to ‘how’ it shall be kept?

Again: In any law upon this subject ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not in any case surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that “the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States”?

I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the Government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it–break it, so to speak–but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was “to form a more perfect Union.”

But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is ‘less’ perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that ‘resolves’ and ‘ordinances’ to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it ‘will’ constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.

The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised, according to circumstances actually existing and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.

That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events and are glad of any pretext to do it I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?

Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from, will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?

All profess to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right plainly written in the Constitution has been denied? I think not. Happily, the human mind is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view justify revolution; certainly would if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. ‘May’ Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. ‘Must’ Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease. There is no other alternative, for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.

Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only and prevent renewed secession?

Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.

I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

One section of our country believes slavery is ‘right’ and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is ‘wrong’ and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases ‘after’ the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory ‘after’ separation than ‘before’? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their ‘constitutional’ right of amending it or their ‘revolutionary’ right to dismember or overthrow it. I can not be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the National Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution–which amendment, however, I have not seen–has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.

By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and ‘well’ upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to ‘hurry’ any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take ‘deliberately’, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.

In ‘your’ hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in ‘mine’, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail ‘you’. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. ‘You’ have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

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In 1865, Lincoln was already planning the difficult process of reunification. Many thousands of people showed up to hear Lincoln speak on Saturday, March 4, 1865 , including John Wilkes Booth. His second inauguration speech is now part of the Lincoln Memorial.  He recast that theme of reconciliation in his second inaugural address. This speech containing just 698 words, is the speech that Winston Churchill always considered the best, including its magnificent conclusion…

And as fate would have it after four horrid years of bloody civil war, victorious Abraham Lincoln was preparing to unify the nation, after the end of the Civil War in the North’s favor, and he had just secured the Emancipation of all Americans of all races…

And although he saw the Peace he sought, he did not enjoy the fruits of it because he would be killed within a month of delivering his second inaugural speech closing with the most imitable words: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”

 

 

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In it’s entirety here is Lincoln’s second inaugural address:

 

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Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

March 4, 1865

FELLOW CITIZENS of the United States,

“At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war, seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

 

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Mere weeks after this second inaugural address, the great Abraham Lincoln gave us more than any other President by ‘offering’ his Life as a sacrifice. And by giving his example as a guiding light for ever. He was magnanimous to the end, and upon arrival of Peace and the unconditional surrender of the South — he did not persecute the Southern apostates, hoping to heal the divisions and bring the country together.  This he did through his spilled blood. Something like the blood of the lamb of God appealed to the hearts of all the Christian people of this country and they all chose to forgive and forget and go on as brother snaps sisters together form then on forward. Magnanimity to a beaten foe, is the greatest of virtues after a bloody war is ended…

Winston paid attention to that lesson.

And now it’s good to know where Winston drew his inspiration because it was not classical Greece that gave Winston his bearings, but it was the place that gave him his amazing powers of Oracular wisdom as he went to Delphi penitent to receive the skill of Oratory from the mouth of God…

Classic Greece is not to be confused with her present sorry state of bankruptcy and debauchery, because her recent inhabitants are not made of the same stern stuff….

Yet in the time Winston visited there were still plenty of great people that befriended him and he ended up having life long relationships and great friends to the point that at long last after the war he was given a ‘homehouse’ there for his holidays and restful pursuits — as a small sign of gratitude for his Herculian effort to liberate this poor and heroic nation.

But Greece also had baths… and when Winston found out — he took to it like a fish to water, because Churchill was always something of a connoisseur of baths and their many therapeutic effects of induced R&R, medicinal value, and almost meditational effects for mental concentration. So in Greece he literally jumped into them…

He loved baths so much that he took a tin bathtub with him when he went to serve in the trenches of the Somme during the height of the First World War, and he freely allowed his fellow officers and fighting men to make use of it, along with his scotch and cigars to give them some measure of relaxation and delousing in that very demanding and terribly dirty battlefield of mud and blood.

So when later Winston discovered the baths in Greece — he jumped into it. Literally.

He spent quite a few days in Thermopylae at the posh hotel ‘Galini’ (=Serenity), and at Olympia in the Cyllini resort by the sea, and he made the happy discovery that the baths helped ease the pain of his severely dislocated shoulder from that boat jumping accident in India and also helped his body in weird and unusual ways that his bathtub with tepid warm water in London didn’t quite help.

Baths loved Winston and he loved them back. Indeed he loved Thermopylae so much that he would also walk up the hills and see the battlefield, and he would kick around some dirt with his scuffed walking shoes, and invariably uncover some treasure of broken ceramic art, from an ancient vessel, or he would collect stones and rusted Persian arrow-heads that are strewn everywhere — from that long ago battle that colors history to this day as the bravest field of Honour the world has ever known.

These important historical events that interested Churchill greatly, like the battle of Leonidas, and the 300 Spartans, against the one Million men army of the Persian King, taking place in Thermopylae and the other Greek monuments, marking the greatest places of History and the people that Winston loved, such as Leonidas, Isocrates, Philipp the Macedon, and Alexander the Great. The fact that after the war years Winston Churchill was instrumental in securing the future of the English monarchy by introducing the idea of young Prince Philip of Greece meeting and marrying the English princess Elizabeth, that was surely slated to succeed her father the beloved King George VI, is a rather interesting connection because this young girl, the princess Elizabeth — was in short order going to succeed her ailing father and thus become the longest reigning British Monarch. Indeed the arrangement for the matrimonial union succeeded and in November of 1947 the English princess Elizabeth married the Greek prince Philip thus cementing forever the alliance of the two nations.

Later as a Queen, Elizabeth and her family traveled to Greece often and still do to this day…

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee, of 60 years on the throne, in 2012, as she has been the head of state in the United Kingdom since February 6, 1952. This is the same Queen Elizabeth of today — the longest serving Sovereign of England in History. In this year of 2017, Queen Elizabeth II has become the longest reigning monarch in the 1,000 years of British history, because she has surpassed both King George III, who reigned for more than 59 years, and her great grandmother, Queen Victoria who reigned for more than 63 years, from 1837 until 1901, and who has now been relegated to second place in longevity as Regina.

Queen Elizabeth II has as of today been the British, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Queen, for more than 65 years serving her people honorably, and keeping the Crown in her steady hands. As a guarantor of that peculiar document — the unwritten English constitution. And the Queen works tirelessly for the Good of the longest continuously living and thriving Democracy of the world. And perhaps that is why we are thrilled for her success, and that of her family, because as it turns out she has been a Great Queen. A great Monarch, not just because of her longevity, but maybe because she was not born directly in the line of succession to the throne, and she had to earn her place in History, very much like Winston had to and they both succeeded brilliantly. Indeed when her father King George III acceded to the throne after the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, he already started grooming Elizabeth for her place in history because he must have felt that he was not long of this world. The Queen acceded to the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her beloved father, King George VI who himself was the best British King of the last few centuries. Queen Elizabeth who had already married Prince Philip since 1947, was on an African safari when her father passed and had to come home in hast for assuming the throne. Today, the Queen has three sons and one daughter, and is still married to her sweetheart seventy years later…

Incredible and indeed well done Winnie, because largely thanks to Winston Churchill and his quiet diplomatic and personal ‘offices’ — we can now say ‘Long Live Elizabeth Regina’ or the more common cry of  ‘God Save The Queen.’ The very same Queen who is still today married to her prince charming Philip of Greece that she wed because of Winston Churchill’s Greek journeys and fascination with this small country that he loved so much because she has given so much to the world. The country of Greece that due to Winston’s patronage and tenacity to fight for it during the Second World War and in the interminable conferences at Yalta, Potsdam, and Teheran — is still Free and at Liberty from the Communist yoke that all other Eastern, Central and lower European countries which had fallen under the spell of the communists and the Red Army; had to suffer through seventy years all locked up on ‘ice’ inside the gray and cold Gulag of the communist nations association, alternatively referred as the Union of the Soviet Republics.

This is Winston’s Greece, a place he was interested in, from the time that he was a very young boy playing with toy soldiers in his bedroom. And she had great warm baths too like the ones his ‘Woom” Mrs Everest prepared for him when he was a growing up as fatherless, lovesick, and loveless child.

In Greece Winston Churchill also found plenty of loving and adoring solid friends that were not overbearing in the style of the zealous British passive aggressive manner. Greek friends were sincere and joyous living in the moment whether placed in high and powerful places as well as in normal and lowly places — and he was an instant ‘hit’ amongst the random people that he came into contact with. And it was them that gave him plenty of warm friendship and even tender loving care, like only the ‘salt of the earth’ Greek people know how to give. And over the years of his holidays and his indulgence in bathing in therapeutic hot-bath water in places like the spa towns of Cyllini  and how he made friends with people, like Aristotle Onassis the wealthiest person on earth at this time and the other shipping magnates and Greek tycoons who believed in the power of the seven seas and the commerce and power they wield for a naval empire or the Men who understand the power of the fleet traveling across her. And modern Greeks who loved Pythia for her amazing gift, as the ancient Greek word ‘Pythia’ means ‘convincing truth.’

Popular wisdom would say that she was always ‘High’ and that excused her from the overbearing political correctness and the necessary deference towards the Kings, the Princes & the Great leaders of her times. As long as the Delphic Oracle tradition lasted and indeed it held for more than a couple Thousand years — the “Pythia” never suffered fools easily and she never had to observe the niceties, the political correctness, the white lies, the obvious lies, or any of society’s customary betrayals of truth that is so prevalent in this world. Telling “Truth To Power” was the Oracle’s  ‘schtick’ and she did that religiously over many more years than any nation has been alive and well. Indeed quite a few times this practice of Pythia earned her a painful death, but that is why the young virgin was to be always just the face of the Oracle and the High priests cultivating her intelligence and giving her the ‘oracles’ were well away insulated from the wrath of the Imperial anger, when the prophecy didn’t fit the expectations of powerful men like Nero who killed the Pythia in a horrible manner for calling him out as a ‘Marticide’ since he had earlier murdered his own mother…

Immediately another young virgin waiting on the wings would step up to the hot seat and start delivering the truth of the Oracle. Many years before the Romans even came onto the historical horizon — Achilles Mother asked the fate of her son — should he go to fight in the Trojan war… and received the dubious answer. His mother was the immortal nymph Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons. Achilles’ most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Royal Prince Hector, outside the gates of Imperial Troy.  That was the Oracle that described Achilles fate and that of his brotherly friend Patroclus too. And the ultimate fate of the Greek campaign against the city state of Troia where today’s ‘Chanak’ is the epicentre site of the British expeditionary force and of that of the ANZAC forces against the Germans and the Turks fortified in the Dardanelles. An attack that Winston Churchill had designed and undertook so many years later in another epic campaign to ‘stich’ a hole in the soft underbelly of the enemy far away from the horribly static and awfully bloody, trench warfare of the European Western Front.

Yet this was a brilliantly conceived — yet in all truth a terribly ill executed campaign; that saw pretty much the same amount of death, blood, and destruction for both sides, as the earlier Trojan war more than three thousand year earlier.

Winston knew the ancient histories quite well and he remembered the score, and now saw his war campaign, as correctly solving an ancient riddle, that came to us through memory and Homeric verse. He was dreaming as if he were a new and virulent young Achilles, with contagious Courage for fighting and wanting to fight far more than the old generals and the admirals could ever stomach. All the old issues about his risk taking surfaced all over again and the old fuddy daddies prevented the fleet and the army from fully engaging at the beginning of the conflict — when they had the element of surprise — and thus were repelled and did not persevere until they had lost all of their will for battle. That and the fact that they couldn’t take the initiative early on, to get a quick victory, because the allied forces simply had lost heart — drove Winston into a deep melancholy and despairing sadness. He was depressed and desperate and on top of that, he was blamed for the Dardanelles disaster fully. There was nothing left except to give up his life willingly by joining the trench warfare where he could hide his shame and regain the respect of Leadership Command. Same as Achilles had done in the early days of the Trojan war, when he had gotten into an argument with the leading General of the Campaign and had thereafter stayed sulking in his tent, until his friend Patrocleus was killed in battle wearing his Hifestian armor.  Achilles right then ‘woke-up’ and joined the fray because he felt that he had to avenge Patrocleus, and he did this brilliantly in an epic duel where he ended the battle by slaying his friend’s killer and thus fulfilling the prophesy of Delphi… and in the process sealing his own fate.

And as the Delphic Oracle was not afraid of revealing her “truth” and giving her answers in forms of questions, riddles and axiomatic theorems — she caused the powerful “Visitor” to think largely out of the box, and to be guided to face all elements and differing or conflicting sides of the “Issue” and thus come up with the “New Truth” and the ‘Solution” to the “problem” that was not visible before.

As for the other popular stories about the young nubile priestesses of “Pythia” cavorting with her visitors — it was just the way to keep the “Questor” and the “Visitor” in her thrall, and thus during the night that he had to spend there, to allow him to sleep under the auspices of Asclepius, and Apollo, so that he gets cured of his “blindness” and thus face reality and solve the riddle, or find the Truth, and deeply understand her Message.  That is how “Pythia” found her groove and let people know the “Truth” without killing the Messenger.

The Oracle of Apollo – Pythia, was always represented like a beautiful waif. A semi-nude virgin, stoned out of her gourd, and in a state of trance spouting out incoherencies. Incoherent yet powerful truths that caused you to think long and hard in order to discern the truth behind them. … and to choose a course of action.

Beautiful, young, and stupid perhaps she were — but she led the “Questor” with alacrity and single mindedness of purpose to a “New Understanding”  of his quest, by causing him to question himself through the process of intuitive and internal discovery that the leading internal questions inevitably generate.

Clearly the Oracle of Delphi, was a well organized Peace Seeking Organization — very much like the United Nations of Today. And indeed it was considered a place of ‘parlay” and a place of “peace.”  If two warring hegemons came to visit the Oracle at the same time — there would be no hostilities — just a deferential understanding under the auspices of the God Apollo and his Pythian priestesses, priests, guards, and peace makers — who were indeed more powerful that the leaders of the day that had large standing armies…

On the other hand there was the treasury of Delphi into which they had all contributed, and that is why Pythia’s capacity to engender this “Inner Search” for “Truth” to the Hegemons, revealed both the deep intelligence that this network of temple “Truth Seekers” spread throughout the ancient world, could gather, and the vast intelligence apparatus and forecasting abilities, they could bring to bear.

Yet on a simpler level the Questors, the Visitors, and the lay people always remembered the young punch drunk virginal priestess who had little qualms about telling the “Truth” to her powerful interlocutors. And her influence on culture has persisted to this day, when we say that you can only hear the truth from a young person and a drunk one at that…

Yet in her day, Pythia, would be far more organized and disciplined on her prophesies and aphorisms than a simple young drunk person could ever be. After all she was carrying the words of the Spirit of God. The journey to the inner sanctum of the God Apollo, would start with the other priests and priestesses interviewing the Visitor that had the Questions for the God… These representatives of the Oracle would always start the journey of the Questor to the inner sanctum of the temple where all his questions would be answered, by asking leading philosophical questions to her royal visitors, and thus leading them to an inner journey into their own souls?

It was thus that the Royals had to find their own personal ‘inner sanctum’ in their heart and minds — before they were allowed into the inner sanctum of Temple of Apollo where they could meet the Oracle itself emanating out of the young virgin called “Pythia.”

And it was this knowledge that arose from the inner search that truly framed the One important Question the Sovereign seeker had to ask of the God…

So the Royal Visitor had to start by answering simple questions such as:

“What is your knowledge of Self?”

“Or what is your world like?”

And after a little time of introspection at the mountainous retreat — he might have become a very different person having found his own question by removing his own inner doubts and thus becoming ready for the Oracle’s answer no matter what that might be. And over the course of the night that he had to spend at the temple — he clearly must have been visited by the God of Dreams the ultimate Physician of Healing, the ever present and all healing Asclepius — who no doubt presided over Delphi just as much as Apollo did, and worked his almighty night-magic that led to healing, therapy, rest, refresh, and thus guided the Human Being safely back into the nightly descent into Hades, and the morning time ascent back up into the light, and into the embrace of the son of God… the all seeing and all curing Sun.

Apollo was the son of God, and Pythia was the deliverer of his Oracular Prophesy, as she was represented by various young priestesses that had to be the “Pythia” of the day, and they had to deliver God’s version of the Truth, in ways that served both God and People. And if the Hegemon was a decent person asking a fair question — he just might get a fair answer. Provided that after his sojourn to the Temple of Delphi, he distilled his many questions into a simple one and only ‘One Question” that he had to ask himself of the Oracle in his interview with the Priestess called ‘Pythia.’

And then the ‘Questor’ would receive a simple answer. One sentence answer, or a rhyme, or a poem, or simple ‘koan’ only, that needed to be then interpreted by the person asking the question and his cohorts after lengthy discourse and thoughtful examination. No lengthy explanatory answers were ever given, and no follow up questions were ever allowed to be asked. The “babe” was in a trance obviously stoned beyond help and her words were delivered from the mouth of this “babe” but they surely came from the God above, because the beautiful virgin perched naked on a high stool, while dressed only in white puffs from the swirls of the narcotic smoke emanating from the burning cannabis under her stool — could scarcely utter anything else.

But her answers were always brilliant. She delivered these divine utterances as the “Great Answers” to the ‘Great Questions’ of the Day and Age. The Oracle’s influence was magnificent…

Through the mouth of the Priestess ‘Pythia’ the God Apollo, gave famous answers that have lived down in History to this day… He offered answers to major dilemmas such as when a young man goes to war to fight the enemy: Is he ever coming back?  

Indeed this very question was asked of the Oracle and this is the brilliant answer that was received in response: “You come, you go not – in the war you die.”

This prophetic answer from the lips of virginal “Pythia” could be easily understood either way, depending on where you would choose to place the missing comma.

So this ancient “Babe in the Woods” would answer some incredibly difficult questions with some far too brilliant answers. Of course ahead of the “Babe’s” offering the answer called “Hrismos,” the priests and the priestesses would ask some leading intelligent questions during the overnight stay of the “Questor” — well before he asked his one question to the Oracle in person. This interaction with the distinguished “Visitor” around Supper and the Symposium, had the sole purpose to create a frame of understanding, in order to establish the mindset of the Royal Visitor, and of his “Quest” to be able to receive this “Wise Truth” and to be able to fully engage with it and act upon it for the benefit of his people and of the ancient world.

Lofty Goals for a simple Intelligence Agency and a Talking Shop like the UN and the CIA are today in comparison to the ancient Delphi that played this dual role.

Visitors were always testing the Powers of the Oracle, by asking the attendant priests their own questions in hypothetical form, during the supper and the symposia on the eve of their arrival and well before they could ask their ONE QUESTION to the oracle itself. And thus many Hypothetical Questions that were asked of the Priests, in order to lead to discernment and understanding, were the questions that led the priests to inform the Oracle about the state of mind of the visitor and of his quest. That is also the basis of the tradition of Socratic dialogue where you ask the proper questions in order to find the Truth.

The questions that the priests always threw at their “Questors” and “Visitors” were varied, but were always brilliant such as this one here, that has survived the test of time:

“What is the nature of reality?”

“What if there were no hypothetical questions?”

“What if yourself is outside of you?”

I am certain that you get the idea…

The Oracle was hugely influential in it’s entirety and that syndicate of priests and acolytes, had a tremendous amount of Power in the ancient world, but the “Pythia” herself was a smart cookie too, and perhaps a bit of a wise ass, and there is some evidence that she was actually never “high” or stoned but simply playing the part of the ‘Baby’ arising from the smoke in order to be able to communicate like a modern “Medium” with the God of prophesy Apollo.

A bit of ‘smoke and mirrors’ and a ‘naked chick’ seated on a high stool, in a bar, stoned or not, in the end of the day, and in the final analysis this was both the CIA, and the UN of her day and  the oracle of Delphi, indeed changed the fate of the World as we know it based on their Intelligent Answers called ‘Hrismos’ in the ancient Greek language.

However strong the ‘smoke’ that Pythia inhaled might have been — it is important to remember that this Oracle and it’s priestesses and priests  presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, managed to survive for more than a thousand years that we know of. And they must have given much value, important knowledge, and wise support, to all of the Leaders treading their way to this remote mountain valley in the center of Ancient Greece, in order to have stayed in business for more than a Millennium. 

Yet they also found much usefulness as being the center of the Alliance of the Amphictyonic League of City States that provided a stable and peaceful period through the use of “parley” otherwise known as the “Talk Therapy” of Politics and Diplomacy…

After all “Jaw jaw is always preferable to war war” as Winston was always saying to remind his colleagues that he preferred peace over war any day of the week.

In essence this Delphic Oracle brokered Peace as he saw it to be his primary duty — same as the more modern version of it, Winston Churchill fashioned himself to be, and always attempted to bring about, what he always called the “Sinews of Peace…”

Sometimes in this endeavor he was even successful…

 

 

 

To be continued…

 


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