Thursday, October 31, 2013

Insult to injury

On Wednesday, October 30th, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner dedicated a bust of Winston Churchill in the rotunda ofthe Capitol. You can watch there ceremony above.

This is the result of a resolution he pushed through Congress in December 2011. Whereas Speaker Boehner did not allow any resolution to go forward to honor the 70th anniversary of Japan's surprise attack of Pearl Harbor nor did he issue his own statement of remembrance, he did honor Churchill’s Pearl Harbor December 26, 1941 speech to a Joint Session of Congress.

British Prime Minister Churchill was in the US to guarantee the Europe-first strategy that he had planned with President Franklin Roosevelt would be followed. The result was that thousands of American civilians and servicemen and women in the Pacific were abandoned to horrific fates. No reinforcements would come to the Marines of Wake Island, the tank brigades on Bataan, or the Coastal Artillery on Corregidor.

Boehner's tax-payer funded effort to honor Churchill was further an undisguised dig at President Barak Obama. The Speaker and many Republicans believe that the President returned a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office out of disrespect (code for not honoring the "white" Churchill). The truth is that there were two busts of Churchill in the West Wing; one was on loan from the British Government. This one was returned. No American hero was represented twice in the president's offices.

One can imagine that Churchill himself would have been taken aback by Boehner's unprincipled swipe at an American president. And for Americans, it is astounding that the Speaker should go so far to ignore citizens put in harms way, especially WWII veterans, for a racist fable about the President's character. 

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