In a similar vein:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/03/10/in-winston-churchill-hollywood-rewards-a-mass-murderer/?utm_term=.61f5a658e188
 
<https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/03/10/in-winston-churchill-hollywood-rewards-a-mass-murderer/?utm_term=.61f5a658e188>

In Winston Churchill, Hollywood Rewards a Mass Murderer
Shashi Tharoor
 
Shashi Tharoor is author of “Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India 
<https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1849048088/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=washpost-20&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1849048088&linkId=14b547dae664203d46d8a61867d90b3f>.”
 He chairs the Indian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
 
“History,” Winston Churchill said 
<https://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/0301/churchill.html>, “will be kind to me, for I 
intend to write it myself.” He needn’t have bothered. He was one of the great 
mass murderers of the 20th century, yet is the only one, unlike Hitler and 
Stalin, to have escaped historical odium in the West. He has been crowned with 
a Nobel Prize (for literature, no less), and now, an actor portraying him (Gary 
Oldman) has been awarded an Oscar.
 
As Hollywood confirms, Churchill’s reputation (as what Harold Evans has called 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/11/books/his-finest-hour.html> “the British 
Lionheart on the ramparts of civilization”) rests almost entirely on his 
stirring rhetoric and his talent for a fine phrase during World War II. “We 
shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. … We shall fight on the 
beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields 
and in the streets. … We shall never surrender.” (The revisionist British 
historian John Charmley dismissed this 
<http://www.vqronline.org/essay/did-churchill-ruin-great-work-time-thoughts-new-british-revisionism>
 as “sublime nonsense.”)
 
Words, in the end, are all that Churchill admirers can point to. His actions 
are another matter altogether.
 
During World War II, Churchill declared himself 
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/11410633/Dresden-was-a-civilian-town-with-no-military-significance.-Why-did-we-burn-its-people.html>
 in favor of “terror bombing.” He wrote that he wanted “absolutely devastating, 
exterminating attacks by very heavy bombers.” Horrors such as the firebombing 
of Dresden were the result.
 
In the fight for Irish independence, Churchill, in his capacity as secretary of 
state for war and air, was one of the few British officials in favor of bombing 
Irish protesters, suggesting in 1920 that airplanes should use “machine-gun 
fire or bombs 
<https://www.winstonchurchill.org/publications/finest-hour/finest-hour-137/churchill-proceedings-churchill-and-bombing-policy/>”
 to scatter them.
Dealing with unrest in Mesopotamia in 1921, as secretary of state for the 
colonies, Churchill acted 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons>
 as a war criminal: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against the 
uncivilised tribes; it would spread 
<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html>
 a lively terror.” He ordered large-scale bombing of Mesopotamia, with an 
entire village wiped out in 45 minutes 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/19/iraq.arts>.
 
In Afghanistan, Churchill declared 
<https://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/10022399/How-Winston-Churchill-got-his-taste-for-war.html>
 that the Pashtuns “needed to recognise the superiority of [the British] race” 
and that “all who resist will be killed without quarter.” He wrote 
<https://thediplomat.com/2015/10/how-churchill-fought-the-pashtuns-in-pakistan/>:
 “We proceeded systematically, village by village, and we destroyed the houses, 
filled up the wells, blew down the towers, cut down the great shady trees, 
burned the crops and broke the reservoirs in punitive devastation. … Every 
tribesman caught was speared or cut down at once.”
 
In Kenya, Churchill either directed or was complicit in policies involving the 
forced relocation of local people from the fertile highlands to make way for 
white colonial settlers and the forcing of more than 150,000 people into 
concentration camps. Rape 
<https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/apr/23/british-empire-crimes-ignore-atrocities>,
 castration, lit cigarettes on tender spots, and electric shocks were all used 
by the British authorities to torture Kenyans 
<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html>
 under Churchill’s rule.
 
But the principal victims of Winston Churchill were the Indians — “a beastly 
people with a beastly religion,” as he charmingly called them 
<http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-his-finest-hour-the-dark-side-of-winston-churchill-2118317.html>.
 He wanted to use chemical weapons in India but was shot down by his cabinet 
colleagues, whom he criticized for their “squeamishness,” declaring that “the 
objections of the India Office to the use of gas against natives are 
unreasonable 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons>.”
 <> <>
 
Churchill’s beatification as an apostle of freedom seems all the more 
preposterous given his 1941 declaration that the Atlantic Charter’s principles 
would not apply to India and the colored colonies. 
<https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/churchills-blunder-iron-rule-of-the-raj-in-india/>
 He refused to see people of color as entitled to the same rights as himself. 
“Gandhi-ism and all it stands for,” he declared 
<https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120481455326416671>, “will, sooner or later, 
have to be grappled with and finally crushed.”
 
In such matters, Churchill was the most reactionary of Englishmen, with views 
so extreme they cannot be excused as being reflective of their times. Even his 
own secretary of state for India, Leopold Amery, confessed that he could see 
very little difference between Churchill’s attitude and Adolf Hitler’s 
<https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/churchills-secret-war-by-madhusree-mukerjee-2068698.html>.
 
Thanks to Churchill, some 4 million Bengalis starved to death in a 1943 famine. 
Churchill ordered the diversion of food from starving Indian civilians to 
well-supplied British soldiers and even to top up European stockpiles in Greece 
and elsewhere. When reminded of the suffering of his Indian victims, his 
response was that the famine was their own fault, he said, for “breeding like 
rabbits.”
 
Madhusree Mukerjee’s searing account of Churchill’s role in the Bengal famine, 
“Churchill’s Secret War,” documents that while Indians starved, prices for 
foodgrains were inflated by British purchases and India’s own surplus grains 
were exported, while Australian ships laden with wheat were not allowed to 
unload their cargo at Calcutta (where the bodies of those who had died of 
starvation littered the streets). Instead, Churchill ordered that grain be 
shipped to storage depots in the Mediterranean and the Balkans to increase the 
buffer stocks for a possible future invasion of Greece and Yugoslavia. European 
warehouses filled up as Bengalis died.
 
This week’s Oscar rewards yet another hagiography of this odious man. To the 
Iraqis whom Churchill advocated gassing, the Greek protesters on the streets of 
Athens who were mowed down on Churchill’s orders 
<https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/30/athens-1944-britains-dirty-secret>
 in 1944, sundry Pashtuns and Irish, as well as to Indians like myself, it will 
always be a mystery why a few bombastic speeches have been enough to wash the 
bloodstains off Churchill’s racist hands.
 
Many of us will remember Churchill as a war criminal and an enemy of decency 
and humanity, a blinkered imperialist untroubled by the oppression of non-white 
peoples. Ultimately, his great failure — his long darkest hour — was his 
constant effort to deny us freedom.
 
 
 
 


> On 12-Mar-2018, at 10:02 PM, Patrice Riemens <patr...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
> 
> In case you go see, or went, to the film 'Churchill' ...
> 
> 
> Original to:
> https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/03/09/when-will-there-be-a-film-on-winston-churchill-the-barbaric-monster-with-the-blood-of-millions-on-his-hands.html
> 
> When will there be a film on Winston Churchill, the barbaric monster with the 
> blood of millions on his hands?
> By Shree ParadkarRace & Gender Columnist
> Toronto Star, Fri., March 9, 2018
> 
> 
> Imperialistic pop culture has enshrined Churchill only as a military great, a 
> fun drunk, a loyal monarchist with a penchant for fine speech and a flair for 
> loquacious prose. But the British PM lacerated the world with tragedies, 
> profiting from plunders and mass murders, writes Shree Paradkar.
> 
> 
> By the time I came across the ledger at the Bangalore Club with Winston 
> Churchill’s name on it in the late 1990s, British rule in India had been 
> sanitized; airbrushed to present a picture of overall benevolence with a few 
> violent splotches.
> 
> The entry in the ledger is dated June 1, 1899 and names one Lt W.L.S. 
> Churchill as one of 17 bill defaulters. He owes the club 13 rupees from a 
> time when a whisky cost less than half a rupee.
> 
> Had we then heard that Churchill once described our beloved city as a “third 
> rate watering place … without society or good sport,” we would have probably 
> laughed it off as the irascibility ever only indulged in the great. Jolly 
> good, old chap.
> 
> Colonialism of the mind lingers long after the land is free.
> 
> And if we had heard that he once said, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly 
> people with a beastly religion,” meh. He was dead. We were thriving.
> 
> There are flawed heroes. Lincoln, MLK and Gandhi to name a few — men who 
> inflicted injustices on individuals.
> 
> Then there are monsters.
> 
> Powerful men who lacerate the world with tragedies. Adolf Hitler, certainly, 
> but his nemesis Churchill, too.
> 
> It was only in 2014 that I first got a glimpse of genocidal mania in the man 
> so lionized for leading his nation through its finest hour.
> 
> It was a piece titled Remembering India’s forgotten holocaust, in Tehelka 
> magazine that detailed the ghastly origins of the Bengal famine of 1943 that 
> killed an estimated 3 million people in one year.
> 
> Historians have easily traced it back to Churchill who had diverted the 
> bountiful harvest from Bengal to Britain and other parts of Europe. When the 
> locals began starving, he steadfastly refused to send them food. He said no 
> to rerouting food that was being shipped from Australia to the Middle East 
> via India. No to the 10,000 tons of rice Canada offered to send to India, no 
> to the 100,000 tons of rice America offered. The famine was the Indians’ 
> fault, he told a war-cabinet meeting, “for breeding like rabbits.”
> 
> In his Revisionist History podcast, Malcolm Gladwell delves into how the 
> historian Madhusree Mukerjee, author of Churchill’s Secret War, dug into 
> Britain’s shipping archives to uncover evidence that Britain had so much food 
> at the time that the U.S. had become suspicious they were stockpiling it to 
> sell it after the war.
> 
> In India, she wrote, “parents dumped their starving children into rivers and 
> wells. Many took their lives by throwing themselves in front of trains.” 
> Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Indian soldiers were fighting alongside 
> the Allied forces.
> 
> Yet, what did the actor Gary Oldman who portrayed Churchill in Darkest Hour 
> say last Sunday when he received an Oscar for Best Actor? “I would just like 
> to salute Sir Winston Churchill who has been marvellous company on what can 
> be described as an incredible journey.”
> 
> Salute. Sir. Marvellous. Incredible.
> 
> Oldman might as well have danced on 3 million dead bodies, many of whose 
> loved ones were too weak to cremate or bury them.
> 
> Such tributes for a heinous white supremacist who once declared that “Aryan 
> tribes were bound to triumph.”
> 
> Words as hollow as the tunnel-visioned ideals on which people fashion this 
> man, but they can’t stem the drip, drip of blood from his hands.
> 
> They can’t hide tens of thousands of Kenyans who were rounded up in 
> concentration camps called “Britain’s Gulags” under his orders, where 
> thousands were tortured and killed for rebelling against British rule.
> 
> They can’t hide the bodies of the Greek civilians who were celebrating German 
> withdrawal in 1944, but were killed by the British army because Churchill 
> thought the communist influence on the Nazi resisters — who had allied with 
> Britain — was too strong. And we haven’t even got into his treatment of 
> Iraqis or the wiping out of entire Indigenous populations of Tasmania.
> 
> Churchill was not the first Western leader to profit from plunders and mass 
> murders. Remember John A. Macdonald? But imperialistic popular culture 
> continues to enshrine him, despite the Gallipoli disaster, only as a military 
> great, a fun drunk, a loyal monarch with a penchant for fine speech and a 
> flair for loquacious prose.
> 
> Churchill tried to manipulate history with the six volumes of his memoirs. 
> Indeed he succeeded so well that even today the Bangalore Club thumps its 
> chest about his membership there. “Many a past great … including Sir Winston 
> Churchill” have been members, says its website.
> 
> This compounds the tragedy. Erasing his crimes pronounces his victims 
> worthless, deems their lives undeserving of acknowledgement, and leaves their 
> deaths but a footnote in history.
> 
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