WASHINGTON, June 7, 2017 — “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.” So said Sir Winston Churchill at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946.
Many Americans didn’t quite know what Churchill was talking about. Hadn’t America and her ally, the Soviet Union, destroyed Hitler’s Germany a little more than a year prior?
And didn’t the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt tell White House advisors that Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin would “work with me for a world of democracy and peace”?
FDR’s widow, Elenore Roosevelt, was horrified by Churchill’s speech. The illustrious Englishman was guilty of “desecrating the ideas for which my husband gave his life … Perhaps it’s just as well that [FDR] is not alive today to see how you have turned against his principles.”
Stalin’s reaction to Churchill’s warning was short and sweet, “To all intents and purposes, Mr. Churchill now takes his stand among the warmongers.” That was the charge Churchill’s domestic political enemies leveled at him a decade earlier when he condemned the British government’s peace-at-any-price policies with Hitler’s Third Reich.
Speaking hard, uncomfortable truths to his American friends, said Churchill, was in keeping with the “special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States.”
The 1948 Russian blockade of West Berlin, the Soviet prodding of North Korea to launch its 1950 invasion of its southern neighbor, the 1961 building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban missile crisis of 1963 eventually awoke all but the most delusional to the threat posed by Soviet communism.
More than 70 years after Churchill’s Fulton speech, an ancient and despotic ideology threatens America’s “special relationship” with Britain: radical, jihadist, sharia Islam.
When jihadists slammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, while others attacked restaurant-goers with knives, killing 7 and wounding 50, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Whatever the United States can do to help out in London and the U.K., we will be there – WE ARE WITH YOU. GOD BLESS!”
In a statement to Londoners, Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, wrote, “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed.”
It’s difficult to understand why after a deadly attack, Londoners would be alarmed to see an increased police presence meant to secure their safety.
So, it’s understandable that some might have interpreted Khan’s call for calm as being aimed at a particular segment of his city’s population, 500 of which joined the ranks of ISIS in recent years, like failed rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, made famous after appearing in an ISIS video decapitating American journalist James Foley.
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” President Trump tweeted. He added, “Pathetic excuse by London mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!”
Of Trump’s upcoming visit to Britain, Khan told Britain’s Channel 4 News, “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.”
“When you have a special relationship, it is no different from when you have got a close mate. You stand with them in time of adversity but you call them out when they are wrong. There are many things about which Donald Trump is wrong.”
The Manchester Guardian said British Prime Minister Theresa May “appeared unwilling to be drawn into the row. She praised Khan’s response to the attack but refused to explicitly comment on the US president’s intervention.”
In a radio broadcast last February, Trump pledged to his countrymen that he would “continue to take all necessary and legal action to keep terrorists, radicals and dangerous extremists from ever entering our country. We will not allow our general system of immigration to be turned against us as a tool for terrorism and truly bad people.”
Trump is one of the few world leaders willing to say that political correctness has allowed a new iron curtain to descend over the Western mind; a self-imposed civilizational blindness to a violent, authoritarian religious ideology incompatible with democratic, pluralistic civil societies.
An existential threat to the civilization George Washington described as one where “everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”