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Bleg on WWII English pacifism:

I believe I have read--but I can't recall where-- that during the Second World War, some English pacifists proposed that when the Nazi troops arrived in England, unopposed by military resistance (thanks to pacifist policy), they should be greeted with Christian love. Such a greeting would be disarming, and the Nazis, seeing that the invaded population were Christian friends rather than belligerents, would realize the error of the war-like Nazi ways.

Does anyone have a citation or other information about this proposal?

MORE BLEG: How a good article or book chapter on Frantz Fanon's influence in promoting racist violence and other terrorism? There's mention of this scattered in many sources, but how about a consolidated, extended treatment?

Fitzwilliam_Darcy99:
There were indeed English pacifists of that type, and you will find source material and quotations aplenty in "The Collected Essays, Letters and Journalism" of George Orwell. One item I recall is a long poem written on that theme by Alex Comfort (best known to posterity as the postwar author of "The Joy of Sex"), to which Orwell wrote a suitable poem in reply.

The subject is closely linked to Gandhi's position during the war, which was that the British should quit India and that after being occupied by the Japanese the Indians should respond with satyagraha (passive resistance). Gandhi's virtue of honesty, however, had him quite ready to concede that this approach would cost millions of Indian casualties, before the Japanese would see the light. (George Orwell's famous essay on Gandhi touches on this subject and also the related subject of Gandhi's willingness, unlike most pacifists, to address the question of what would happen to European Jews if the Allies dropped out of the war. Gandhi's position was that European Jews should all commit suicide, by way of protest and awakening the conscience of the world.)
7.7.2008 3:16pm
Richard A. (mail):
Also in the Orwell collection is the little-remarked book "My Country Right or Left" in which he collects the essays he did in the first few years of the war. Besides his railings against pacifists there is much useful material here about the left-right split in England over just about every issue in the war.
7.7.2008 3:27pm
Crust (mail):
Were English pacifists at the time left wing, right wing or both? (I'm guessing the answer is left wing at least for the more radical pacifists of the type described. Though the fact that Chamberlain was the leader of the Conservative Party gives me pause.)
7.7.2008 3:33pm
taney71:
Scott H. Bennett's "Radical Pacifism" is a good place to start.
7.7.2008 3:34pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
There is, or was, a "Movement for Non-Violent National Defense". I ran into it about fifteen years ago. One of its things was a Thirties play called, I believe, "The Eleventh Mayor". All about the way non-violence works. Sure, the bad guys kill ten mayors, but by the time they kill the eleventh who won't force the locals to work at the turpentine mill (for real), they give up.
Nonsense.
One of their pitches was that armies can't work when they're full of psychotic murderers instead of normal soldiers. Thus, we have nothing to worry about when we allow ourselves to be occupied. Historical reality means nothing to these people, although I get the impression the really hope it means nothing to the rest of us. They're wrong. I hope.
7.7.2008 3:44pm
taney71:
Also, Douglas Lackey has a good article, "Pacifism" in James White's book, "Contemporary Moral Problems." I love this part of Lackey's work:


Certainly German rule of England and the United States would have been a very bad thing. At the same time, hatred of such German rule would be particularly fueled by hatred of foreigners, and hatred of foreigners, as such, is an irrational and morally unjustifiable passion. After all, if rule by foreigners were, by itself, a great moral wrong, the British, with their great colonial empire, could hardly consider themselves the morally superior side in World War II.

No one denies that a Nazi victory in World War II would have had morally frightful results. But, according to antiwar pacifism, killing six and one-half million people is also morally frightful, and preventing one moral wrong does not obviously outweigh committing the other....Antiwar pacifists speak on behalf of the enemy dead, and on behalf of all those millions who would have lived if the war had not been fought. On this silent constituency they rest their moral case.
7.7.2008 3:46pm
Gabriel Malor (mail):
Sounds similar to Ghandi's "open letter" to the UK during the war:

I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions.... If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.
7.7.2008 3:56pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
War is inconvenient for the mass killers. It's better when everything is settled. Then you can be about your business without all that fuss.
7.7.2008 3:57pm
TJ Diamant (mail):
Try "Why War" by C.E.M. Joad. Published in 1939, it provided a breathtakingly mistaken set of recommendations and predictions on the forthcoming unpleasantness
7.7.2008 4:05pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
If this is true, and it probably is, those were deluded fools, and not real pacifists, because they hoped to influence those who would do evil. I.e., their objective was to influence others, and not to save their own souls. The same sort confuse spirituality with faith.

Real pacifists know very well what will happen to them and do it anyway because they believe that doing violence, even in self-defense or in defense of others, threatens their immortal souls.
7.7.2008 4:08pm
vassil petrov (mail):
Thank God pacifists are very rare in the Bolkans.
7.7.2008 4:09pm
taney71:
I love this poem to counter Pacifism.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
7.7.2008 4:16pm
Guessing (mail):
The French
7.7.2008 4:28pm
James Fulford (mail):
Check out the life of anarchist George Woodcock, 1912-1995 who was an anarchist and pacifist, (working on a farm as a conscientious objector) during WWII, and was tried at the Old Bailey for some kind of sedition. Orwell's contemporary take on Woodcock is here, but if you can get Woodcock's side of the story, it may have some interesting details.
7.7.2008 4:34pm
Dave N (mail):
The First They Came poem Taney71 referenced is usually credited to German pastor Martin Niemoller. Ironically, given Taney71's comment, Niemoller became an ardent pacifist himself in the 1950s.
7.7.2008 4:35pm
taney71:
Thanks Dave N! I did not know that.
7.7.2008 4:45pm
James Fulford (mail):
The Peace Pledge Union, founded 1934, is still around. (If Hitler had won, it would have been banned.) They have a WWII page here, and you should get more details from The Dilemmas of British Pacifists During World War II, By Richard A. Rempel, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 50, No. 4, 1978, via JSTOR.
7.7.2008 4:46pm
karrde (mail) (www):
I do not know if it provides any more clarity on this subject...

but I do know that in one of the collections of essays/speeches given by C.S. Lewis, there is a speech titled Why I am not a Pacifist, given to a Pacifist society in England. I believe this event occurred while England was involved in WWII, though I may be wrong...

If Lewis accurately portrayed the arguments of the Pacifist society, then they were as deluded as ideas mentioned by Dave Kopel. (The arguments seemed be along the lines of "War is always worse than peace, Jesus told us to love our enemies, and it is more moral to be at peace than to wage war." Lewis spends a long time discussing what moral reasoning is--it almost rates as a separate speech on a separate subject--before using moral reasoning and historical study to pull apart the arguments mentioned.)

This might count as weak supporting evidence, especially if the papers of that particular Pacifist society can be produced.
7.7.2008 4:58pm
Tom S (mail):
In World War I, the British essayist and pacifist (and flaming homosexual) Lytton Strachey was asked what he would do if he came upon a German soldier raping his sister. "Put myself between them," he replied.
7.7.2008 5:01pm
trad and anon:
That would be the Christian thing to do. See, e.g., Matthew 5:38-46.
7.7.2008 5:05pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

The First They Came poem Taney71 referenced is usually credited to German pastor Martin Niemoller. Ironically, given Taney71's comment, Niemoller became an ardent pacifist himself in the 1950s.


I believe the "poem" is a collection from several speeches given by Niemoller after the war, one at least was a commencement exercise. (IIRC)
7.7.2008 6:05pm
TRE:
One of my law professors tells a story about his mother in Scotland that is along those lines. She wanted to give German paratroopers a cup of tea when they arrived.
7.7.2008 6:32pm
Visitor Again:
One of my law professors tells a story about his mother in Scotland that is along those lines. She wanted to give German paratroopers a cup of tea when they arrived.

There are quite a few stories of English women greeting downed German pilots with cups of tea, which they drank while awaiting the arrival of the authorities. It's not an indication of pacifism, but of good manners.
7.7.2008 7:00pm
Deep Thoughts fan:
The post recalls to mind this old "Deep Thoughts" goody from Jack Handey:


If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
7.7.2008 7:11pm
David Schraub (mail) (www):
Maybe I'm overreading, but these two blegs read rather oddly in conjunction. Is violence sometimes necessary in the face of evil (anti-UK pacifists) or not (anti-Fanon)?
7.7.2008 7:17pm
C. Norris (mail):
If you can, find a copy of: "Why England Slept", by John F. Kennedy, and READ IT!

It is rare, my paperback copy is by Dolphin Books, edition 1962 and took me some time and money to acquire. The original is copyright 1940 by Wilfred Funk, Inc. A comprehensive university library MAY have a copy. I say "may" because it would be considered politically incorrect in todays university culture. "JFK" notwithstanding. In it, JFK makes considerable mention of the influence of the English pacifists as well as the labor unions resistance Britain's to re-armament.
7.7.2008 7:25pm
Gary Curtis:
Bertrand Russell wrote a book just before the war called "Which Way to Peace?", I think, which took a stance similar to what you describe. Of course, he wasn't a christian, but sometimes wrote favorably of "christian love". He repudiated the book after the war started. I haven't read it myself, so I base this all on secondary sources.
7.7.2008 7:29pm
C. Norris (mail):
In it, JFK makes considerable mention of the influence of the English pacifists as well as the labor unions resistance Britain's to re-armament.

As you were.

In it, JFK makes considerable mention of the influence of the English pacifists, as well as the labor unions resistance to Britain's re-armament.
7.7.2008 7:30pm
C. Norris (mail):
If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
No! That will only give away the pumpkin throwers position and get him shot. If not then, then later. If not by the enemy, then by one of his own men for being so stupid. Simple human armed combat is much more complex than a game of chess in the park.
7.7.2008 7:37pm
Javert:

Such a greeting would be disarming, and the Nazis, seeing that the invaded population were Christian friends rather than belligerents, would realize the error of the war-like Nazi ways.

Worked well against the Romans.
7.7.2008 8:07pm
Fub:
Dave N wrote at 7.7.2008 3:35pm:
The First They Came poem Taney71 referenced is usually credited to German pastor Martin Niemoller. Ironically, given Taney71's comment, Niemoller became an ardent pacifist himself in the 1950s.
I think Niemoller's observation was not "to counter Pacifism", nor to promote pacifism. It was about speaking out, or not speaking out. In the USA we think that act is a right.

At the time in Germany to which Niemoller refers, those who actually did speak out, but offered no violent resistance, included Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl, Inge Scholl, Kurt Huber, Alex Schmorell, Willi Graf, and Christoph Probst. They called their group The White Rose.
7.7.2008 8:18pm
Dave N (mail):
Taney71 initially wrote, "I love this poem to counter Pacifism." I merely noted that it is usually credited to Pastor Niemoller and added that he became an ardent pacifist in his later years because I appreciate the irony given Taney71's comment.
7.7.2008 8:45pm
Fub:
Dave N wrote at 7.7.2008 7:45pm:
Taney71 initially wrote, "I love this poem to counter Pacifism." I merely noted that it is usually credited to Pastor Niemoller and added that he became an ardent pacifist in his later years because I appreciate the irony given Taney71's comment.
Yes, I understood that. I intended my comment to address Niemoller's purpose in the observation. I agree with the irony you found, had Niemoller's purpose been what Taney71 thought it was -- "to counter Pacifism".
7.7.2008 9:02pm
Anderson (mail):
A Christian who believes that the gospels require non-violence is on pretty solid grounds, I believe.

Of course, such a Christian is also committed to the idea that sufferings in this world are as nothing compared to the glories of Heaven (or the torments of Hell, for that matter). If one's family is tortured and killed, they are destined for a better place where every tear shall be wiped dry.

One can, and perhaps should, disagree with that point of view, but it is a bit strange to hold it in utter contempt, as several folks on this thread appear to do.
7.7.2008 9:09pm
anonevang (mail):
What Jesus spoke concerning "turn the other cheek" and "love your enemies" was spoken to individuals, those who were to become His disciples. He did not speak these words to entire nations. Jesus's movement was not a political movement ("My kingdom is not of this world"). I strongly doubt that Jesus would have encouraged pacifism against Hitler.

One notable example of someone who began as a Christian pacifist but eventually embraced violence in extreme circumstances was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He began as a pacifist Lutheran theologian, but eventually joined the conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.
7.7.2008 10:01pm
Malvolio:
If one's family is tortured and killed, they are destined for a better place where every tear shall be wiped dry.

One can, and perhaps should, disagree with that point of view, but it is a bit strange to hold it in utter contempt, as several folks on this thread appear to do.
If your superstitions lead you to act in a contemptible way, don't be too surprised if other people hold your superstitions (and you) in contempt.

For example, we hold in contempt people who come up with "Christian" excuses for anti-homosexual or anti-minority violence.

Why should any sensible person regard a pacifist who thinks mass-murderers should be given free rein as less obnoxious than a skin-head who advocates beating up Mexican immigrants?
7.7.2008 10:16pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Worked well for the Romans.

It did, actually. The Romans weren't genocidal, and always welcomed neighbors and allies who didn't war upon them, and even better, accepted Roman suzerainty willingly. Moreover, after the more exploitative phase of the Republic, during the earlier Empire period (known as the Principate: 1st-2nd centuries AD), the constituent city-states (civitas, pl. civitates — the fundamental unit of the Empire) basically ruled their own affairs as autonomous republics.

You can read more about the self-governing Roman civitates here.
7.7.2008 10:25pm
Can't find a good name:
C. Norris: I'm not sure if you realized this, but Jack Handey, the guy who recommended throwing a pumpkin at the enemy, is a comedy writer.
7.7.2008 10:45pm
Michael Edward McNeil (mail) (www):
Physicist Freeman Dyson, in his thought-provoking book from the 80’s Weapons and Hope, described popular delusions and enthusiasms in Britain in advance of the Second World War:

By that time we had made our break with the establishment and we were fierce pacifists. We saw no hope that any acceptable future would emerge from the coming war. We had made up our minds that we would at least not be led like sheep to the slaughter as the class of 1915 had been. Our mood was no longer tragic resignation, but anger and contempt for the older generation which had brought us into this mess. We raged against the hypocrisy and stupidity of our elders, just as the young rebels raged in the 1960s in America, and for similar reasons. […]

We looked around us and saw nothing but idiocy. The great British Empire visibly crumbling, and the sooner it fell apart the better so far as we were concerned. Millions of men unemployed, and millions of children growing up undernourished in dilapidated slums. A king mouthing patriotic platitudes which none of us believed. A government which had no answer to any of its problems except to rearm as rapidly as possible. A military establishment which believed in bombing the German civilian economy as the only feasible strategy. A clique of old men in positions of power, blindly repeating the mistakes of 1914, having learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the intervening twenty-four years. A population of middle-aged nonentities, caring only for money and status, to stupid even to flee from the wrath to come.

We looked for one honest man among the political leaders of the world. Chamberlain, our prime minister, we despised as a hypocrite. Hitler was no hypocrite, but he was insane. Nobody had any use for Stalin or Mussolini. Winston Churchill was our archenemy, the man personally responsible for the Gallipoli campaign, in which so many of our six hundred died. He was the incorrigible warmonger, already planning the campaigns in which we were to die. We hated Churchill as our American successors in the 1960s hated Johnson and Nixon. But we were lucky in 1938 to find one man whom we could follow and admire, Mahatma Gandhi. […]

We had grand visions of the redemption of Europe by nonviolence. The goose-stepping soldiers, marching from country to country, meeting no resistance, finding only sullen noncooperation and six-hour lectures. The leaders of the nonviolence being shot, and others coming forward fearlessly to take their places. The goose-stepping soldiers, sickened by the cold-blooded slaughter, one day refusing to carry out the order to shoot. The massive disobedience of the soldiers disrupting the machinery of military occupation. The soldiers, converted to nonviolence, returning to their own country to use on their government the tactics that we had taught them. The final impotence of Hitler confronted with the refusal of his own soldiers to hate their enemies. The collapse of military institutions everywhere, leading to an era of worldwide peace and sanity. […]

[The lack of revolt by Hitler's troops from the cold-blooded slaughter of his concentration camps shows just how likely that dream was of coming true. When war actually began, reality turned out to be quite different from expectations…. --MEM]

So this was the war against which we had raged with the fury of righteous adolescence. It was all very different from what we had expected. Our gas masks, issued to the civilian population before the war began, were gathering dust in closets. Nobody spoke of anthrax bombs anymore. London was being bombed, but our streets were not choked with maimed and fear-crazed refugees. All our talk about the collapse of civilization began to seem a little irrelevant.

Mr. Churchill had now been in power for five months, and he had carried through the socialist reforms which the Labour party had failed to achieve in twenty years. War profiteers were unmercifully taxed, unemployment disappeared, and the children of the slums were for the first time adequately fed. It began to be difficult to despise Mr. Churchill as much as our principles demanded.

Our little band of pacifists was dwindling. […] Those of us who were still faithful continued to grow cabbages and boycott the OTC, but we felt less and less sure of our moral superiority. For me the final stumbling block was the establishment of the Petain-Laval government in France. This was in some sense a pacifist government. It had abandoned violent resistance to Hitler and chosen the path of reconciliation. Many of the Frenchmen who supported Petain were sincere pacifists, sharing my faith in nonviolent resistance to evil. Unfortunately, many were not. The worst of it was that there was no way to distinguish the sincere pacifists from the opportunists and collaborators. Pacifism was destroyed as a moral force as soon as Laval touched it. […]

Those of us who abandoned Gandhi and reenlisted in the OTC did not do so with any enthusiasm. We still did not imagine that a country could fight and win a world war without destroying its soul in the process. If anybody had told us in 1940 that England would survive six years of war against Hitler, achieve most of the political objectives for which the war had been fought, suffer only one third of the casualties we had in World War I, and finally emerge into a world in which our moral and human values were largely intact, we would have said, "No, we do not believe in fairy tales."


Reference:

Freeman Dyson, Weapons and Hope, 1984, Harper &Row, New York; pp. 111-113, 115-116.
7.7.2008 10:46pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
The Romans were, I think, quite like the U.S.. Practical men, excellent organizers and builders. Not given to abstractions, borrowing their culture from elsewhere, and happy doing it.

Judged by modern standards, harsh if not brutal, but then who else in their era, judged by modern standards, was not? At least they recognized that dead men and sacked cities pay no tribute. Corruption -- but again, name a country of their time that did not have it?

Capable of incorporating many civilizations and persons -- an empire at one point ruled by Philip the Arab, with toward the end a largely Germanic army, thinkers such as Seneca the Spaniard, Greek physicians and thinkers, a certain Paul of Tarsus who could claim citizenship, etc..
7.7.2008 11:02pm
Smokey:
A nation that won't fight will sooner or later end up under the thumb of a nation that will fight.

Si vis pacem para bellum is a universal truth.
7.7.2008 11:11pm
Inkling (www):
It is the previous war, but Bertrand Russel's 1917 essay, "The Ethics of War," claims that if the English did nothing to halt a German invasion, no harm would come to them. That's particularly bizarre when you consider what the Germans were doing at that very time in Belgium. And during the Great War, G. K. Chesterton made a good case that Germany had parted with civilized behavior based on nothing more than deeds they'd praised, such as the sinking of the Lusitania.

--Michael W. Perry, editor of Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas and Movements that Led to Nazism and World War II.
7.7.2008 11:16pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Once, long ago, I interviewed Clark Kerr (chancellor of the U. of California until that great friend of academia R. Reagan got him), who I knew had gone to England as a Quaker in the early '30s and had walked the streets seeking signers for the Peace Pledge.

What I didn't know was whether he had changed his mind, so I asked him if he had, by, say, 1938.

"Of course."
7.7.2008 11:21pm
Richard A. (mail):
Orwell includes an essay by an English pacifist by the name of D.S. Savage in the book "My Country Right or Left."

It reads in part: "We do not desire a German 'victory;' we would not lift a finger to help either Britain or Germany to 'win'; but there would be a profound justice, I feel, however terrible, in a German victory (In actuality, any ruler would find us rather awkward customers, one no less than another.)"


He also cites Alex Comfort:

"What again does Mr. Orwell imagine the role of the artist should be in occupied territory? He should protest with all his force, where and when he can, against such evils as he sees - but can he do this more usefull by temporarily accepting the status quo, or by skirmishing in Epping Forest with a pocket-full of hand grenades? I think that English writers honour, and will follow when the opportunity comes, the example of integrity that Gide has set."

There's much more in the same vein in that book.
7.7.2008 11:41pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Didn't Gandhi runs some similar nonsense about the Japanese? Gandhi is perhaps the most overrated historical figure ever, right up there with nelson Mandela.
7.7.2008 11:50pm
treebeard (mail):
I second Brian G's dismissal of Gandhi. I grew up in the 80's, and when the movie Gandhi came out, I (and many of my teenage friends) was enraptured with the man.

Eventually I read this, and it rang true:
The Gandhi Nobody Knows
7.8.2008 6:07am
Happyshooter:
People, mostly on the left, get confused and think that because the British and American militaries are well run and full of good, decent, hard working people all other forces are so manned and officered. Or, they won't admit there is a difference.

Part of the reason, I guess, is that they hold the military in such low regard that they can't think of how a force such as Imperial Japan or in today's world Iran can have a worse military.

The liberals love to cry and point "look, my-lay, evil American army" or "look, just because muslim terrorists were using a hospital as a base the evil Americans bombed it".

They are too ill-informed to know, or too dishonest to admit, that for many armies those things are seen as signs of weakness.
7.8.2008 9:29am
Oren:
sinking of the Lusitania
Sinking a Naval auxiliary, even absent the military cargo, was well within the laws of war at the time.
7.8.2008 11:47am
C. Norris (mail):
Can't find a good name:
C. Norris: I'm not sure if you realized this, but Jack Handey, the guy who recommended throwing a pumpkin at the enemy, is a comedy writer.
Yes, Ive heard this bit of unlikely farce before. I take slight at it because at the level of military interface, where such an occurrence is suggested, subtly and profundity goes completely unnoticed. The military personnel in the position to enact such a dubious deed are not inclined to ponder the cosmic philosophy of their situation and, perhaps, reconsider the options. The army does not send poets and philosophers to the front line. No, they are more concerned with the more mundane preoccupations of not messing their pants when the first shot or explosion, enemy or friendly, is heard. You see, it's very difficult to run toward the enemy or retreat with all deliberate speed with a load in your pants.

The "Pumpkin Gag" MAY be amusing to the Intelligence Section (S-2) clerks at a higher (and safer) Hdqtrs., but the grunt in the field is living at the edge of the world in human existence. Surviving firefights and being comfortable in between is about as far as a combat soldier, of either side, is apt to ponder.

The only value of Handey's comedy is to be added to the list of that which should be ignored.
7.8.2008 12:34pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Happyshooter,

What makes you think that the army of Imperial Japan was not "full of good, decent hard-working people"? From everything I know, it was. The fact that it committed horrible atrocities, such as the Rape of Nanking, was due to the ideology of the officer corps, one that held weakness, surrender, and civilians in contempt, combined with the disillusionment with China's leading role in civilization, together with ordinary soldiers who were especially compliant since they came mostly from the lower classes of a society still emerging from feudalism. The soldiers who committed such horrible atrocities were not thugs and murderers. They were mostly farmboys, who, if you met them at home, would be just as nice and decent as their counterparts from Kansas.
7.8.2008 12:37pm
C. Norris (mail):
Another book regarding war and pacifism in WWII England is: "The Last Enemy", an autobiography by Richard Hillary.

Hillary is a Trinity University student who, like a number of young "rakes", joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Auxiliary while a student in the late 1930's. Hillary is a "Citizen of the World" and is above religion and politics and only joined the RAFVA to be a member of the "Best Flying Club in the World".

The book is first person narrative and contemporary to the times. The pertinent chapter to the drift of this thread is chapter four, "The World of Peter Pease", where Hillary and another educated pilot, Peter Pease get into an "intellectual" discussion regarding war, politics, and Christianity.

It's a small book, but an interesting read. Hillary and Pease, as well as all the pilots who participated in the Battle of Britain are those most deserving of the sentiments expressed in the lyrics from the song: "The Impossible Dream".
7.8.2008 1:04pm
dearieme:
Does anyone happen to know who wrote '"Why England Slept", by John F. Kennedy'?
7.8.2008 1:31pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Bill Poser.
I suppose the point is not whether you met them as they were at home, but if you were defenseless civilians or prisoners.
They were nice guys, but they just liked to bayonet prisoners to keep their skills up. And send pix home to mama who, afaik, didn't object.
7.8.2008 4:37pm
Don Meaker (mail):
A.A.Milne, in 1934 wrote "Peace with Honor" advocating national surrender, rather than either go to war, or even inflict sanctions. After all, he asked himself, what would an enemy do? Murder people by the millions? How unthinkable!

Of course WWII showed that the enemy, the National Socialists, or the Japanese Imperialists, or the Soviet Communists, would indeed murder people by the millions.

A.A. Milne is most famous for writing the first "Winnie the Pooh" stories for his son, Christopher Robin Milne.
7.8.2008 9:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Didn't one of Barack's advisors--possibly ex-advisor--suggest that Winnie the Pooh was a good source of examples for relations with other countries?
7.9.2008 8:05am
Mad Max:
Yes. What a muroon.


Richard Danzig, who served as Navy Secretary under President Clinton and is tipped to become National Security Adviser in an Obama White House, told a major foreign policy conference in Washington that the future of US strategy in the war on terrorism should follow a lesson from the pages of Winnie the Pooh, which can be shortened to: if it is causing you too much pain, try something else.

Mr Danzig told the Centre for New American Security: "Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security."
7.9.2008 10:22am
neurodoc:
"Tipped to become National Security Adviser," is that Brit speak meaning that some are betting Danziger would be named to that critically important position in an Obama administration? His "superheroes" apercu is troubling, since it ignores the obvious, that being that the inspiration for most of the terrorism we confront is Islamic fundamentalist theology and aspirational goals, not any movie or comic book superhero characters.

Must go look this person up to see what qualified him to be Secretary of the Navy, a position Senator Webb, a Naval Academy grad, filled before him. One of my big concerns about Obama is uncertainty about the types he would appoint to key positions, especially those related to foreign policy and national security. I have much lesser concern about his possible domestic appointments.
7.11.2008 3:56pm