- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

It seems the major media has put up with this war for long enough. For more than a month, commentators barely reported a discouraging word but in all that time the president couldn't organize a decisive victory. So it is time for the networks to endlessly replay the video of every civilian casualty of the war except those that occurred in New York on September 11. Of course, no media dance macabre would be complete without a hip, snickering column by the New York Time's diva of deprecation Maureen Dowd.

Sure enough, last Sunday Miss Dowd catching perfectly big media's full defeatist mode wrote that "President Bush has been lured … to the catastrophe of Afghanistan." She warned of Vietnam-like "quagmires." She offered lamentations for "stillborn alliances" and "tangled bureaucracies." Of course, such a column would be incomplete without a class-envying reference to "Polo at Yale" and a ridiculing slap at the Pentagon. Just imagine the fun she could have had if she had been writing in London in the summer of 1940.

[Note to reader: All of the following references to Winston Churchill's quotes, British public opinion and diary entries are historically accurate.] The notional Miss Dowd would write: "Last night an overwrought Winston Churchill rambled on about fighting the Germans on the beaches, landing grounds, fields and hills. One can just imagine the chubby prime minister fighting 'Jerry' with a sword in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. At least he didn't commit us to fight on Knightsbridge Street, where I plan to go shopping at Harrod's tomorrow. The Germans are coming and I don't have a thing to wear.

"Winnie's mood swings are showing. Suddenly he is filled with despair, but only last month in his first BBC speech he promised us: 'I have invincible confidence in the French Army and its leaders.' Of course the editor at The Tattler told me that Churchill had finished-off an expensive bottle of Pol Roger champagne before that speech. He knows his French wine, but not his French Army.

"These constant blunders are not going down well with the public. According to the public opinion firm of Madge and Harrison: 'The bewilderment and distress is more severe today than ever before, and the disillusion about all our past confidence and proud leadership is becoming a major strain on ordinary simple minds.'

"But it's not just the working people who feel let down by the prime minister. His own secretary, John Colville has been keeping a diary, which I have seen. On May 10, Colville quotes a senior official, dismayed that Churchill didn't even win an election to become prime minister: 'The good clean tradition of English politics had been sold to the greatest adventurer of modern political history. This sudden coup of Winston and his rabble was a serious disaster.' A week later in his diary Colville refers to a Churchill speech as his 'blasted rhetoric.'

"Just as his own staff has no confidence in him, he thinks the military is failing. According to a reliable source he sent the following message to General Ironside on May 24: 'Pray find out who was the officer responsible for sending the order to evacuate Calais yesterday. Are you sure there is no streak of defeatist opinion in General Staff?'

"It's been 10 months since the war started and our government can't get a thing right. First they try to invade Norway, but the Germans beat them to it. Then we commit our entire Army to help the French and the savvy, if troglodyte, Germans drive our army into the North Sea, beat the French and march triumphantly through Paris.

"Now, with an army that left all its big guns at Dunkirk beach and a pathetically outclassed little air force, Churchill is promising to fight the 'Huns' as he calls them, until we gain ultimate victory. We know what he has been drinking, but what does he think we have been drinking to take these barroom brags seriously? He is just like his crazy father Lord Randolph, who ended his aristocratic career with similar verbal misfires.

"There are people close to Churchill who think he only went in to politics to try to vindicate his father's reputation. And now we are getting Blitzed by the Germans. As the daughter of a London cop, I can tell you England is paying a high price for the Churchills' aristocratic conceits.

"And another thing. It may make corpulent little Winnie feel macho to call them Huns, but it is deeply offensive to millions of Germans. By insulting them, it only makes them more likely to rally to the side of Hitler. For an out of touch politician who has never even won a national election, he seems to want to conquer the world. At least Hitler seems satisfied with France, England, and a few of those other funny little countries."

Churchill had it easy. He only had to beat the Germans. President Bush has to fight the Washington press corp, too.

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