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Iran, Russia, North Korea, China: The next gathering storm?
DeAnn Reed
Antelope Staff

He was an odd man. His skin chaffed easily, his disposition moody, but his uncanny prophetic nature still to this day captivates historians. Winston Churchill was a man for the past, present and future.

He was the voice in the wilderness when all of Europe was under the heavy darkness of totalitarianism. He was hated, despised, called a warmonger, and even Lady Astor, an American woman who was the first to sit as a member of the House of Parliament in the British House of Commons, was known for the following comment: “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.” Churchill: “Nancy, if I were your husband, I’d drink it.”

An insidious enemy had invaded the hearts and minds of people all over Europe and America– anti-Semitism. Famous Americans, like Henry Ford, adored the man who was invading and pillaging Churchill’s country—Hitler. Ford had a picture of the German dictator hanging in his office. Anti-Semitism was growing all over the world and people like Joseph Kennedy and Lady Astor saw Hitler’s views as the solution to the “world’s problems.”

We seem so removed from that time, but are we?

In the opening pages of Churchill’s book, “The Gathering Storm,” he uses this theme in his historical account of two world wars and the state of the world when Germany, Italy and Japan chose to dominate it, “How the English-speaking Peoples Through Their Unwisdom, Carelessness, and Good Nature Allowed the Wicked to Rearm.”

Churchill, a self-taught man in many ways, had a clear understanding of the countries that lay at his nation's borders. He saw Germany rearming, reorganizing and ripe for a dictator. As the German economy struggled to get back up on its feet after WWI, America with what Churchill called a prejudice toward monarchies, refused to support the then Weimar Republic. Churchill believed the U.S. should have helped to stabilize the German government after WWI, “Instead, a gaping void was open in the national life of the German people,” writes Churchill. With the U.S. unwilling to support the Weimar Republic, the stage would be set for Germany to embrace a charismatic leader who would fill their broken and economically depressed people with hope.

At the time, Churchill had written this book much of what we would now read in historical accounts of the war had passed. Churchill understood the German arms buildup long before the world would even take notice because he had seen it happen before.

Just prior to Churchill serving as the First Lord Admiralty in 1911, he wrote a memorandum forecasting Germany’s invasion into France. James Humes quotes Churchill in his book, “Eisenhower and Churchill: The Partnership That Saved the World.” Churchill wrote: “The balance of probability is that by the 20th day the French armies will be driven from the line of the Meuse (River) and will be falling back on Paris and the South.”

Humes writes that in that same memorandum Churchill would foretell, “the exact day that the German Army would reach its farthest penetration point, where the two armies would entrench themselves.”
Of course, Churchill’s document was considered “ridiculous and fantastic,” but his prediction would come true. Three years later the German army did exactly as Churchill predicted.  

The question then is—what would he say today? Would he look at the world’s depressed economy, the arms build of China, Russia, North Korea and Iran and once again warn a nation who seems to slumber just as we did right before WWII? Lech Walensa, the man who started the anti-communist group in Poland called the Solidarity Movement, was in Chicago this past month. Walensa gave a warning that sounds much like Churchill’s, “The United States is only one superpower. Today they lead the world. Nobody has doubts about it. Militarily.  They also lead economically, but they’re getting weak. But they don’t lead morally and politically anymore.  The world has no leadership.  The United States was always the last resort and hope for all other nations.  There was the hope, whenever something was going wrong, one could count on the United States.  Today, we lost that hope.”

The world stage is being set, and Churchill’s voice still speaks.  Will we through our, “unwisdom, carelessness and good nature allow the wicked to rearm?”

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