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When Churchill first started warning about the danger of Hitler's rearming of Germany, his pacifist opponents ridiculed him. What threat could Germany possibly pose? Its economy was in ruins, it had no army.
In fact, Germany had been oppressed by the unfair, impossible Versailles Treaty. It was only right for them to reassert their pride. Cut them some slack!
And look how strong we are! We can never fall! (The fond belief of all great nations, just before they fall.)
They kept insisting that Germany posed no threat, right up to the day when they suddenly switched and said, We dare not do anything to offend Hitler, because we're not strong enough to fight his huge air force, army, U-boat fleet.
Aren't we already there? Aren't people all over the world terrified of saying or doing anything to offend the Islamists, knowing that they assassinate anyone who gives offense?
Haven't we already lost this war?
No, we haven't. We stand where Britain and France stood in 1939, having already decided to lose, having already allowed their enemy to get weapons he shouldn't have had and to rule in nations where they did not have to let him win.
Obama has already allowed Egypt to be turned over to Islamists, while doing nothing to help democratic forces liberate themselves from the oppressive, terrorist-sponsoring Syrian government that supports Hamas, Hezbollah and the soon-to-be-nuclear Iranian ayatollahs.
Obama is already handing Afghanistan back to the Taliban, while Iraq is now in the shadow of Iranian power.
Obama has done nothing to prevent Iranian nuclear weaponry and is trying to prevent Israel from doing our job for us, soon their fanatical government will dominate and intimidate and effectively rule all of our friends in the Persian Gulf and beyond.
Because of this, our cause looks as hopeless as did Britain's and France's, when German tanks rolled across the Polish border. Having already allowed all their friends and allies to be destroyed or neutralized, they had no friends left.
Hitler's natural enemy, the Soviet Union, seeing that Britain and France were worthless allies, made his own accommodation with Hitler. Other nations openly allied with him.
Their cause was lost.
But the British people found their spine at last before Neville Chamberlain did (because he never did), they found their courage. And at last they turned to the most brilliant leader available Winston Churchill and finally gave him the power to lead them.
It was almost too late.
Here's the problem. Mitt Romney is not Winston Churchill.
But he's also not Neville Chamberlain and Barack Obama is.
Had the Brits replaced Neville Chamberlain years earlier, with someone who was merely prudent, they wouldn't have needed Winston Churchill.
After all, neither President Bush was a genius like Winston Churchill. But they did defend Western Civilization against its enemies; and when they did, we found friends and allies where we needed them.
All Mitt Romney needs is good sense, prudence, a spine. He showed he had one when he openly criticized the Obama administration's insanely apologetic response to the attacks on our embassies.
Nobody in America wants a war. That's why Romney isn't campaigning on the issues I've raised here. He's campaigning on the economy, on getting rid of the crippling new entitlements that Obama has established so that we don't go bankrupt.
Romney is campaigning on the promise that the 47 percent who pay no taxes might, if they want to, improve their incomes until they do pay taxes; or if they are legitimately unable to work, he will help grow the economy and reform the government so that the safety net is still there for them.
Only by keeping a strong, free economy can the 47 percent continue to have the benefits of government without paying income taxes to sustain it. So it's in the self-interest of all Americans, for economic reasons alone, to support Romney.
But if the economy were the only issue, we could probably survive four more years of Obama; economic recovery from his ideological mistakes would be harder and more expensive, but it could still be done.
However, Obama's ideological decision to lose the war is one that cannot be undone four years from now.
Friends and allies that have been obliterated or have fallen under Islamist rule cannot then be regained without bloody battles.
When fanatical Islamists rule in every Muslim-majority country, we will have the open war against all of world Islam that the presidents Bush so carefully kept us out of. It will be Barack Obama who gave us that world war (as Neville Chamberlain gave us a needless world war) instead of the limited wars of the Georges.
When Iranian nukes can be launched against cities in Europe, while Iran's leaders don't care whether we retaliate against their own population, what allies will we be able to gather to our cause then?
Make no mistake: We can pretend this election is about the economy, but the primary responsibility of the president of the United States is the safety of the United States, and Barack Obama has proven to us, without any doubt, that he is incompetent.
Our dead Libyan ambassador is a witness to that. His government's apology to the assassins, his failure to defend our values, his refusal to support our allies these are also witnesses.
The reelection of Barack Obama is the most terrible thing that could happen to us, because he is Neville Chamberlain, and like Chamberlain, he is exposing us and all our friends to the most evil, ambitious, insane force loose in the world right now.
And anyone who laughs at my dire warning is saying nothing about me. They are only proclaiming their own pathetic ignorance of history.
All great nations fall eventually. And with rare exceptions, great nations fall when they have decided to stop protecting themselves; when they have lost faith in themselves.
The man who sneers at Americans who turn to "guns and religion" and the professoriate and mediacrats who are ashamed of "patriotism" and the values of Western Civilization are not fit to lead the nation which, like it or not, constitutes our civilization's entire defense against enemies who relentlessly war against us and, if we do not stop them, will bring it down.
We can't decide to simply end this war with fanatical Islamism because our enemies have not stopped and will not stop until one side wins.
We can still decide to unlose this war.
Death and His Brother Sleep is a poem by Punch editor Edwin James Milliken, who died in 1897. Winston Churchill quoted the poem during the lead-up to World War II:
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
At every mile we a minute must gain!
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
Only a Man, but away at his back,
In a dozen cars, on the steely track,
A hundred passengers place their trust
In this fellow of fustian, grease, and dust.
They cheerily chat, or they calmly sleep,...continued on page 4