"A Word to the Wise"

Unfortunately, we have a paucity of wise people in charge in Western nations.

David Horovitz, Editor of The Jerusalem Post, did an interview with Martin Gilbert, Churchill's biographer, on Friday. It should only be that Gilbert's words would make people sit up and take notice.

Gilbert, a noted historian, in describing the mistakes that were made before WWII, draws potent lessons for today:

When Chamberlain first met Hitler, he declared that "In spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in his face, I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word."

In 1938, Hitler's generals were saying that if Britain declared war, "there's nothing we can do. We can't win, we don't have the resources." However, says Gilbert, "appeasement gave the Germans time to create a war machine which was virtually impregnable," and which couldn't be...even seriously weakened for the first three years [of the war]. The British weren't even building up their military in the years from 1936 to 39, because they were busy talking about dealing with Germany, seeking a disarmament, and being "fair." Thus ultimately what might have been a six month war became a six year war.

Says Gilbert, "A grave mistake was made in the 1930s in finding all sorts of reasons for not regarding the Nazi threat as a serious one. When you're working out your thoughts on the current situation, about fundamentalism, just remember that it is very easy for highly competent, educated, civilized, sophisticated people to find excuses and benign explanations for everything that happens."