Bad Churchill

Turns out (the great) Winston Churchill was a bit of an imperialist murderer.

He gladly took part in raids that laid waste to whole valleys, writing: “We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the shady trees, burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation.” He then sped off to help reconquer the Sudan, where he bragged that he personally shot at least three “savages.”

Obama apparently kind of hates the guy. For good reason too.

George W. Bush left a big growling bust of Churchill near his desk in the White House, in an attempt to associate himself with Churchill’s heroic stand against fascism. Barack Obama had it returned to Britain. It’s not hard to guess why: his Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned without trial for two years and tortured on Churchill’s watch, for resisting Churchill’s empire.

Obviously, dude wasn’t all bad. Hitler repulsed him for good reason.

He may have been a thug, but he knew a greater thug when he saw one — and we may owe our freedom today to this wrinkle in history.

[Johann Hari @ the New York Times via the Browser]

[image via solarnavigator]

September 1, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.