Friday, February 20, 2015

The Winds of War

In 1938 when the winds of war were blowing across Europe, England was faced with a dilemma similar to what our nation is embroiled in today.  The Prime Minister and much of his cabinet believed that a policy of appeasement with Adolph Hitler would prevent war.  A few within the government disagreed which caused a growing tension.  One of those who saw appeasement as a disastrous policy was Winston Churchill.  Another was Duff Cooper, who at that time was serving as the First Lord of the Admiralty.

The day after the Munich Agreement which annexed portions of Czechoslovakia to Germany, Cooper resigned.  Part of what he said that day in Parliament are words that many within our government would do well to heed.  Speaking for forty minutes without notes, Cooper said, "I besought my colleagues not to see this problem always in terms of Czechoslovakia, not to review it always from the difficult strategic position of that small country, but rather to say to themselves, "A moment may come when, owing to the invasion of Czechoslovakia, a European war will begin, and when that moment comes we must take part in that war, we cannot keep out of it, and there is no doubt upon which side we will fight."  Let the world know that, and it will give those who are prepared to disturb the peace reason to hold their hand...the Prime Minister 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."   (The Gathering Storm, pp. 324-325) 

Duff Cooper's courageous stand was described by the Conservative Party's VyVyan Adams as "the first in the road back to national sanity."

Clear vision is necessary to see where one is going as well as what one is facing. In the Old Testament one tribe had 200 chiefs "who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do" (I Chronicles 12:32).  When the leaders of a nation turn their back on God and attempt to go it alone, they not only don't understand the dangers of the times, they forfeit the clear vision to know what to do.  

Viewing the elections of 2016 one can only hope there's a Cooper or a Churchill in the wings because we are running out of time.

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