Writes Peter Worthington in the Toronto Sun:

Comparing U.S. President George Bush with Winston Churchill may seem a stretch. Yet there’s a parallel — not with Churchill of the war years, when he was the “free” world’s most admired leader, but with Churchill of the 1930s when he stood alone, warning about the rise of Nazism. Then, pacifism was rampant in Britain and Europe. Hitler’s aggression was rationalized by wishful thinking. Peace at any price. Except for Churchill. He began warning that the Nazis must be stopped when they occupied the Rhineland in 1936. He urged an alliance of Britain, France and the Soviet Union to stop Hitler’s expansion. [Churchill] was called a warmonger, an enemy of peace, reviled in print and in speeches. Few stood with him. History has proven Churchill right.

With the U.S. election entering the home stretch, Bush is under the same sort of attacks for his war on terrorism and Iraq that Churchill endured before WWII. Critics among both Republicans and Democrats worry that America acted alone, without approval of the UN Security Council, and without support of France and Germany. The “war” aspects of Afghanistan and Iraq were so successful that criticism was muted. It’s the “peace” and trying to bring democracy to Iraq that has revived critics, who now give Bush the sort of treatment Churchill once received for warning about Hitler. Sen. John Kerry’s prime theme is that Bush has made America resented — especially by France and Germany. What most overlook is that by his war on terrorism, Bush is doing now what Churchill was advocating in the mid-1930s.

More than that, Bush is doing what the UN is supposed to do, but rarely has — curb tyrannies that threaten security and stability, and which indulge in oppression and human rights abuses. Britain, under Prime Minister Tony Blair, supports America. So does Australia, and countries like Poland, and former communist countries of East Europe. Italy, too. And since the terrorist attack on the school in Beslan, Russia seems ready to join this new alliance against Islamic terror that threatens civilization…Bush’s is not the only voice, but his is the loudest. Unlike Churchill, who had no power when he urged Britain and the West to wake up, Bush has power. And the “wakeup call” was 9/11. [Peter Worthington, “Why George Bush is today’s Churchill”, Toronto Sun, September 28, 2004. Hat Tip: Steve Michaud]

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