Friday, June 18, 2010

Leadership Season

A couple of weeks ago we should have noted Eisenhower's brave decision in 1944.
Here is a fascinating Telegraph article on some of the deep pains Churchill dealt with in June 1940.
Even this draft he would revise and correct right up to the last minute in red and blue ink – even insert completely new phrases.
The best example of this is on the penultimate page of these final speaking notes.
Just before the phrase "The Battle of France is over. The Battle of Britain is about to begin", he added in his own red pen, at the last moment, "all shall be restored".
The article points out that the speech did not get generally rave reviews.
However, if you think I am suggesting Obama's oil spill speech will get great reviews 70 years later, I must disappoint you. The point is of course the contrast.
I am pretty sure if we have existential crises in my lifetime two things are true:
a) Canada will not be the last defender, and this is independent of who is running the country;
b) the current US Administration, without some shocking enormous replacement of personnel, will not be the last defender.
Maybe Russia or China will.
I sure hope someone will!
UPDATE: On deGaulle's parallel speech see Rondi's blog.
Again, deGaulle was, whatever else, a leader.


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