The Current Crisis

Churchillian Disputes at The Atlantic

What could Christopher Hitchens possibly claim against Winston? That he was a drinker? So is Hitch, and an exuberant one.

3.14.02

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Caution: The following article contains the terms "Jewish Nigger" and "greasy Jew" as quoted from the writings of the late Karl Marx. Non-Marxists could be distressed by proceeding further.

I am told by reliable sources that this month's issue of "The Atlantic" has attacked Winston Churchill in a major piece by Christopher Hitchens. That figures. Just a few issues back Michael Kelly's magazine attacked another of my favorite persons, me. That is the thanks I get for defending Kelly when his former boss at the "New Republic" dumped him.

In "The Atlantic," sixteen thousand or so words were excreted upon me, almost none of them accurate and many of them refuted. One refuted charge that leaps to mind is the claim that "The American Spectator's" Arkansas Project (incidentally, a joke term around the magazine before the humorless Clinton lovers transformed it into atrocity comparable in their fevered minds to McCarthyism or maybe The Holocaust) published nothing of much heft about the Clintons.

"The Atlantic's" reporter had been told otherwise on the night he fished around for incriminating evidence against me at a memorial to Barbara Olson at her home a few nights after she died heroically in the American Airlines flight that was hijacked and slammed into the Pentagon. The intrepid reporter apparently thought this would be the ideal time for an investigative scoop, and so he waded through the mourners and asked Kenneth Starr to introduce him to Jean Lewis, a famed RTC investigator who blew the whistle on Whitewater. Then he surprised the grieving Lewis with "how did the 'Spectator' handle" the Arkansas-related issues? Replied Lewis "Tyrrell got the Clintons dead to rights." Now that did not make it into "The Atlantic." Nor has Lewis's letter protesting the reporter's dereliction. Perhaps the reporter, Byron York, is bidding to join the company of Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose and the journalistic hoaxers. They steal peoples' words and make things up. He ignores peoples' words and leaves things out. He certainly left out any word that while working for "The American Spectator" he wrote plenty of anti-Clinton stuff, for instance, a report on what a golf cheat the Boy President was.

Thus I would not be surprised that the "The Atlantic" has besmeared another of my heroes, Winston Churchill (not yet available at www.theatlantic.com). But what could Hitchens possibly claim against Winston? That he was a drinker? So is Hitch, and an exuberant one. That he was a smoker? So is Hitch. God bless him. That Churchill was a racist or at least thought in racialist terms? Well, so did most Westerners of his era and not always invidiously. Yet for a man of the left such as Hitchens to abominate a towering historical figure for having racial prejudices is either tendentious or ignorant. After all Winston's racial prejudices were not nearly so poisonous as those of Hitch's early intellectual fount, Professor Marx. Karl Marx really hated blacks and his fellow Jews.

Remember what Marx wrote of Lassalle? He called him "the Jewish Nigger," and "a greasy Jew disguised under brilliantine and cheap jewels." And if you missed his drift, he went on to write to Friedrich Engels, his Ford Foundation, on July 30, 1862, "as the shape of his head and the growth of his hair indicates, he is descended from the Negroes who joined in Moses' flight from Egypt (unless his mother or grandmother on the father's side was crossed with a nigger).…" Marx goes on like this about many who incurred his irrational wrath, but let us pass on. Winston Churchill shared some of the prejudices of his era but none quite so morbid as this.

Churchill was a very great man. In breadth of achievement from war to politics to prose and on to simply living life to the fullest, a gentleman driven by noble virtues and tempestuous passions -- none that ever hurt anyone save the tyrants and the bullies. He was one of the great men of history, and were it not for his courage to go it alone in grim times Hitch might now be writing in German or perhaps Russian. After all Churchill went on from the somewhat thankless triumph of beating Hitler to taking on the next thankless task of sounding the tocsin against Marx's student, Stalin. Then Winston warned the world against the dangers of the Atom bomb as it was called in the 1940s.

These virtues and more were brought back to me by a very good book that is not available in this country but can be purchased on the Internet, Geoffrey Best's "Churchill: A Study In Greatness." Buy it, and, by the way, buy "The Atlantic." I just read Hitch's piece. It is not so bad. In fact it is quite good, though the cover drawing and headline are idiotic, but then as I have demonstrated, Kelly seems to admire the infantile. Perhaps in the months ahead he will be publishing Miss Kearns, Mr. Ambrose, and those journalists who hoaxed "Slate," the "New York Times Magazine" and the "New Yorker."

As for my record and that of the so-called Arkansas Project watch for the next installment of Independent Counsel Robert Ray's final report. It will verify that I and my colleague Jim Adams "got the Clintons dead to rights" in publishing years ago that Whitewater was a land flip and a check kiting scheme. There, the Clintons' wrongdoing was a misdemeanor. It was their cover-up that, as with the Lewinsky cover-up, was felonious and a disgrace to the presidency.

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