Russell and Duenes

“They Chose Shame. They Will Get War, Too.”

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The Prime Minister [Neville Chamberlain] has believed in addressing Herr Hitler through the language of sweet reasonableness. I have believed that he was more open to the language of the mailed fist…We have taken away the defences of Czechoslovakia in the same breath as we have guaranteed them, as though you were to deal a man a mortal blow and at the same time insure his life…What do those words [of the Munich Agreement] mean? Do they mean that Herr Hitler will take ‘no’ for an answer? He has never taken it yet. Or do they mean that he believes that he will get away with this, as he has got away with everything else, without fighting, by well-time bluff, bluster and blackmail? Otherwise it means very little…I have ruined, perhaps, my political career. But that is a little matter. I have retained something which is to me of great value. I can still walk about the world with my head erect.” (Alfred Duff Cooper, in his statement to Parliament upon his resignation, in disgust, from his office as First Lord of the Admiralty in the wake of the Anglo-German Munich Agreement; October 3, 1938)

Would that more government officials had such courage of conviction these days, and such forthrightness in making those convictions clear, while accepting the political consequences of having such convictions. Such a thing is sorely needed today, rather than more realpolitik.



Written by Michael Duenes

January 18, 2011 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Duenes, History

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