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75 Years Ago

12:00 AM, Nov 24, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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In light of the Geneva Agreement, I went back to read Winston Churchill's October 5, 1938, speech in the House of Commons on the Munich Agreement. Here are a few highlights:

I will begin by saying what everybody would like to ignore or forget but which must nevertheless be stated, namely, that we have sustained a total and unmitigated defeat. ...

It is the most grievous consequence of what we have done and of what we have left undone in the last five years - five years of futile good intentions, five years of eager search for the line of least resistance, five years of uninterrupted retreat ... five years of neglect of our defences....

Our loyal, brave people...should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defences; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history ... and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies:

"Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting."

And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.

Read the whole thing.

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