papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 - 1965) The world crisis - The aftermath (1929)

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 - 1965) The world crisis - The aftermath (1929)

To all who hope



Every street was thronged with jubilant men and women. All classes were mingled in universal rejoicing.

My own mood was divided between anxiety for the future and desire to help the fallen foe. The conversation ran on the great qualities of the German people, on the tremendous fight they had made against three-quarters of the world, on the impossibility of rebuilding Europe except with their aid. At that time we thought they were actually starving, and that under the twin pressures of defeat and famine the Teutonic peoples—already in revolution — might slide into the grisly gulf that had already devoured Russia.

An Armistice Dream : The New Arm.

Nations great or small might, if they wished, for their own reassurance have battleships and cruisers, cavalry, infantry and artillery, and spend their money as they chose on these ; but war from the air and war by chemical means were reserved to League and to international authority alone.

So it was agreed that in principle the power of the air should be reserved to the League of Nations for the purpose of maintaining world peace against aggression.

They thought the question of chemical warfare too difficult to settle at the moment further than by a universal decree forbidding any individual nation to practise it. ‘Perhaps, however,’ it was added, ‘ some day recalcitrant nations will be punished by being made to sneeze and if all else fails, to vomit.

The vision of a sunlit world redeemed by valour, where work would be less and its recompense more, where Justice and Freedom reigned together through centuries of unbroken peace—that vision which had flickered over the battlefields and beckoned from behind the German or Turkish trenches, comforting the soldier’s heart and fortifying his strength, was soon replaced by cold, grey reality. How could it have been otherwise? By what process could the slaughter of ten million men and the destruction of one-third of the entire savings of the greatest nations of the world have ushered in a Golden Age ? A cruel disillusionment was at hand for all. All men, all women, all soldiers, all citizens were looking forward to some great expansion, and there lay before them nothing but a sharp contraction ; a contraction in material conditions for the masses ; a contraction in scope and command for those who had raised themselves by their qualities —and they too were numbered by the hundred thousand — to stations of responsibility.

The war of the giants has ended ; the quarrels of the pygmies have begun.

Tags: Черчилль
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