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The Dark Side of Winston Churchill (that you've never been told)

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by lordsurya08, May 9, 2011.

  1. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

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    I used to think of him as a great leader who saved Britain from the Germans, but after reading this my respect and admiration for him has vanished. he actions described the last few paragraphs constitute crimes against humanity, no less.

    Spoiler :
    Churchill opposed Mohandas Gandhi's peaceful disobedience revolt and the Indian Independence movement in the 1930s, arguing that the Round Table Conference "was a frightful prospect".[95] Later reports indicate that Churchill favoured letting Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike.[96] During the first half of the 1930s, Churchill was outspoken in his opposition to granting Dominion status to India. He was a founder of the India Defence League, a group dedicated to the preservation of British power in India. Churchill brooked no moderation. "The truth is," he declared in 1930, "that Gandhi-ism and everything it stands for will have to be grappled with and crushed."[97] In speeches and press articles in this period he forecast widespread unemployment in Britain and civil strife in India should independence be granted.[98] The Viceroy Lord Irwin, who had been appointed by the prior Conservative Government, engaged in the Round Table Conference in early 1931 and then announced the Government's policy that India should be granted Dominion Status. In this the Government was supported by the Liberal Party and, officially at least, by the Conservative Party. Churchill denounced the Round Table Conference.

    At a meeting of the West Essex Conservative Association specially convened so Churchill could explain his position he said, "It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr Gandhi, a seditious Middle-Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well-known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Vice-regal palace... to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor."[99] He called the Indian National Congress leaders "Brahmins who mouth and patter principles of Western Liberalism".[100]

    ...

    Another source of controversy about Churchill's attitude towards Indian affairs arises over what some historians term the Indian 'nationalist approach' to the Bengal famine of 1943, which has sought to place significant blame on Churchill's wartime government for the excessive mortality of up to three million people.[104][105][106] Arthur Herman, author of Churchill and Gandhi, contends, '...It is true that Churchill opposed diverting food supplies and transports from other theatres to India to cover the shortfall: this was wartime.'[108] In response to an urgent request by the Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery, and Viceroy of India, Wavell, to release food stocks for India, Churchill responded with a telegram to Wavell asking, if food was so scarce, "why Gandhi hadn't died yet."[109] In July 1940, newly in office, he welcomed reports of the emerging conflict between the Muslim League and the Indian Congress, hoping "it would be bitter and bloody".

    Food deliveries from other parts of the country to Bengal were refused by the government [aka Churchill] in order to make food artificially scarce. This was an especially cruel policy introduced in 1942 under the title "Rice Denial Scheme." The purpose of it was, as mentioned earlier, to deny an efficient food supply to the Japanese after a possible invasion. Simultaneously, the government authorised free merchants to purchase rice at any price and to sell it to the government for delivery into governmental food storage. So, on one hand the government was buying every grain of rice that was around and on the other hand, it was blocking grain from coming into Bengal from other regions of the country.[29] The price controls on wheat were introduced on December 1941, and on rice in 1942.[30]
    [97]

    ...

    Churchill [in a letter to Roosevelt] acknowledged the crucial importance of maintaining Hindu-Muslim antipathy to preserve British rule [1 million dead and 18 million Muslim and Hindu refugees associated with India-Pakistan Partition in 1947].
     
  2. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Challenge accepted

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    There was also the time he suggested gassing the Kurds.
     
  3. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

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    Believe it or not people, especially historical figures are rarely if ever paragons/manifestations of pure evil.
     
  4. Junius

    Junius Chieftain

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    Isn't he both? He was a true British imperialist who was concerned only with the empire and he helped win WWII. I would say that all renowned leaders have their dark sides. That isn't to dismiss or downplay what happened only to say that his legacy is a complicated one.
     
  5. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton Too many places

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    Another case of culture making a mess out of the interpretation of reality in order satisfy primitive human needs.
     
  6. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Chieftain

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    Well, to be fair, if India was starving like that, why was Gandhi still alive? :rolleyes:
     
  7. Chibiabos

    Chibiabos Chieftain

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    Have you taken a look at George Washington's stance on slavery that defy his remarks on freedom and liberty?

    FDR was no saint, either.

    Outside of war, Churchill, FDR, Washington and many of our other revered leaders were tyrannical a-holes.
     
  8. Kozmos

    Kozmos Deep State shill

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    Everyone sucks, get over it.
     
  9. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

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    I haven't heard much dirt on FDR, do please enlighten me.

    About Washington...I can make a bit of a case for him as he grew up in an environment that supported slavery. As he matured, his viewpoint on slavery became more and more negative, especially as he saw the number of blacks that volunteered for the Army; he eventually emancipated his slaves.

    Washington never said anything against slavery publicly as he did not want to split the young nation over something so controversial.
     
  10. Chibiabos

    Chibiabos Chieftain

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    Washington dissented against other founding fathers who wanted to prohibit slavery. Washington was adamantly pro-slavery.

    Eleanor Roosevelt (Franklin's wife) was fairly progressive, but not FDR himself. It was his executive order that interned all American citizens in Western states who had Japanese ancestry, even American-born. He refused to do anything about civil rights even as lynch mobs ran rampant in southern states. While it could be argued that the ends justified the means, he did order the intentional targetting of civilians in both Germany and Japan, and he lied to both Congress and the American people about his intentions of getting involved in the second world war (before Pearl Harbor silenced most of the 'keep us out of the foreign war' sentiment prevalant in the U.S.).

    Churchill, FDR and Stalin were allies. All were heroes leading their nations against a terrible foe ... but each themselves were evil. Only propaganda and revisionism waged by "our side" in the cold war keeps us from seeing our leaders as having committed evil.
     
  11. Newbunkle

    Newbunkle Muppet

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    Yeah, Churchill was just another typical example of Tory scum. "It's ok to occupy other people's countries and lands, just not OURS!"

    It has something to do with their sick sense of entitlement. ;)
     
  12. Abaddon

    Abaddon Chieftain

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    So you are happy to make weak excuses for Presidents you like, but not Churchhill? :rolleyes:
     
  13. lordsurya08

    lordsurya08 class-A procrastinator

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    What Washington did was avoiding a fight that he could not win. He did the right thing for the country when it was in such an unstable state. What Churchill did is mass murder. It is inexcusable.
     
  14. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    I think considering the time period the contents of the OP aren't particularly bad. Everyone knows Churchill was a controversial figure, but faced with a collapsing Empire and a devestating World War clearly tough decisions had to made. What's more you really can't judge leaders of the time with present day values, in the 1930's just about all leaders were more authoritarian and relatively brutal solutions to problems were more widely tolerated and/or expected. Compared to his counterparts in many other countries, personally I don't think Churchill was all that bad.
     
  15. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Temporary Configuration

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    Oh, I think many people have heard of his dark side.
    It's common kowledge that Churchill was a racist, imperialistic, misogynistics drunkard and a reactonary even by 1940's standards who had the luck to fight against Hitler, one of the few people who make him look good in comparison.
     
  16. Cashie

    Cashie Chieftain

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    He was adamantly opposed Irish self-rule, too.
     
  17. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    And Gandhi supported Hitler.

    This post speaks the truth.
     
  18. Uncle Anton

    Uncle Anton Lighthorseman

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    Churchill was very capable of being an a-hole. To be a leader, you have to have that capability within you. If you don't, when the time comes for you to make a hard decision, you'll be found wanting.

    It's not nice, but there it is.

    I'm a great admirer of Churchill... doesn't mean I like or even agree with even half the decisions he made in his lifetime. You research any leader you'll find some pretty questionable goings on at some point.... Ghandi is no exception. ;)
     
  19. Tee Kay

    Tee Kay Challenge accepted

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    "Supported" might not be a very accurate description. He thought Hitler could be reasoned with, which is not really the same as supporting Hitler.
     
  20. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    Is it wholly too predictable that it is our resident Britishers and colonials that come to the megalomaniac's defense?
     

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