On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Great Britain delivered what is regarded as one of his most important speeches, here in America at Westminster College in Fulton Missouri. The speech that Churchill delivered is titled The Sinews of Peace or some call it the ‘Iron Curtain’ speech as this speech highlighted the dangers of the cold war, and sharing nuclear armaments with Russia. Sound familiar? Switch out 1946 for 2015 and swap Churchill for Netanyahu, different eras, different American Presidents, same threat, a nuclear world war.
The Sinews of Peace was a speech that highlighted the unfamiliar and the precarious relationship between those in nations of freedom and liberty versus the Communist countries. Churchill may have also been alarmed at the pro-Soviet sentiment that was prevalent in the United States at that time, possibly due to the newly organized United Nations and even in 1945 the progressives saw the newly formed and organized United Nations as a refuge for great peace all while West Europe watched the Soviet Union begin to close her Iron Curtain around Eastern European states they controlled.
By chance and fortuitous timing, President Truman endorsed the plan of Westminster College’s President Francis L. McCluer, to present Churchill with an honorary degree, and sent a personal note which stated in brief, “Dear Winnie. This is a fine old college in my state. If you’ll come out and make the speech, I’ll take you out and introduce you.” Former Prime Minister Churchill, accepted the invitation and opportunity to warn America with the support and approval of the British government. Due to Churchill’s speech the public sentiment as well as their understanding of what was really at stake, as well as the folly and treachery of sharing nuclear armaments or to perceive a nation that was imposing tyranny and strife among Eastern Europe within the “Iron Curtain” as an ally at that time.
Winston Churchill is noted for a quote that many in today’s society and especially the United States Congress would heed to remember and yes even sometimes leaders including Presidents, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Today will America heed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning with Iran?
Highlighted Below are some key quotes of the speech and have included a link of the full transcript and video. Another excellent source of information and detailed explanation of Churchill’s speech can be found at The Imaginative Conservative.
The United States stands at this time at the pinnacle of world power. It is a solemn moment for the American Democracy. For with primacy in power is also joined an awe-inspiring accountability to the future. If you look around you, you must feel not only the sense of duty done but also you must feel anxiety lest you fall below the level of achievement.
It would nevertheless be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge or experience of the atomic bomb, which the United States, Great Britain, and Canada now share, to the world organisation, while it is still in its infancy. It would be criminal madness to cast it adrift in this still agitated and un-united world. No one in any country has slept less well in their beds because this knowledge and the method and the raw materials to apply it, are at present largely retained in American hands.
This section of the speech about the Soviet Union, in my opinion can be applied to Iran too, especially Iran, the numerous years that America and other countries have tried unsuccessfully overall to have a fair and honest nuclear talks, inspections and agreements.
Our difficulties and dangers will not be removed by closing our eyes to them. They will not be removed by mere waiting to see what happens; nor will they be removed by a policy of appeasement. What is needed is a settlement, and the longer this is delayed, the more difficult it will be and the greater our dangers will become.
To read the full transcript of this historical speech visit the Churchill Centre