September 17, 2015
However, those who so publicly hate Tony Blair in my country forget that his liberal interventionist doctrine, led by the initiative of Brigadier David Richards during Operation Palliser, prevented another murderous civil war in Sierra Leone. Lord Richards, as he now is, rightly went on to head our Armed Forces as Chief of the Defence Staff.
The Bible has it wrong”sometimes loaves and fishes are the wrong things to distribute, and if you don”t want the little children to suffer, swords are the only option. The Gospel version of Christ the Redeemer is a fiction anyway. The most viable historical theory is that Jesus would only have been crucified by Pontius Pilate, as attested by near-contemporary Roman historian Tacitus, as a Jewish terrorist involved in insurrection against Rome. Roman justice didn”t meddle in indigenous cultural matters, and if the real “blood libel” were true and the Jews had wanted him dead, they”d have had to stone him to death themselves.
The militant wing of Jesus” following was doubtless wiped out with him, while those who wanted to survive in the spiritual wing went conceptually underground, inserting the pacifist clauses, which in turn allowed the message to survive, prosper, and contagiously spread until it, as Edward Gibbon put it in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, “finally erected the triumphant banner of the Cross on the ruins of the Capitol.”
I am not advocating a cruel insularity, but a calculated humanism. Europe is old and tired, stiff with the scars of pre-union wars and post-union bankruptcies, but we can still learn from our history. As the “Battle of Maldon” poem has it (in J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation),
Will shall be the sterner, heart the bolder, spirit the greater as our strength lessens.