“We shall never surrender” (Winston Churchill)

Dec 4, 2012


Editor’s note:  The following image has been shamelessly “pinched” from fenbeagleblog, a UK satirist and artist worthy of a Nobel Prize—in Literature, maybe?  The man (woman?) behind fenbeagle is a mystery with, alas, no contact information.  (Otherwise, I would have contacted him/her and asked if I could borrow the drawing, below.  I added the famous Churchill text.)

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end.

We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.

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 fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

—Winston Churchill, June 1940

From time to time—truth be told, quite often—we get a comment which is, well, “off the charts” for eloquence and cogency.  This posting catalyzed one of those.  I have moved it from Comments to an editorial in its own right.  Read on.

Now, we fight.

There is the great void of difference between what we want to do and what we had to do. There is a universe of things we wish to do. To follow one’s heart’s delight, to give from one’s heart with endless passion—that is the golden ideal.

But every time we did what we had to do, we lost a bit of our free will.  Every time we were forced to compromise on our dreams, to give ground to the powerful, the inevitable, we surrendered a little, died a little inside.

Now I am older. Maybe it is not wise to keep fighting. Maybe it is not wise to resist, to refuse to take one step backward.

You see, I can’t. All my ancestors and all my heroes in spirit stand behind me. I’m at the edge of my cliff.

Do you remember what General George Patton, that huge pain in Gen. Eisenhower’s ass, said to the Stars and Stripes reporter after his triumphant rescue of the paratroopers at Bastogne after the battle of the Bulge in Belgium?

The reporter asked, “General, Sir, how do you account for your amazing military success?”

And Gen. Patton answered him in French. He looked him in the eye and said, “L’audace. L’audace. L’audace. Toujours, l’audace!”

Now, in this lopsided David and Goliath fight, we must pick up the sling and the pebble. We must stride out in front of the gathered armies. We must ask for guidance. We must act with audacity.

It is the last armament left in our hearts.

Marshall Rosenthal (Massachusetts)

  1. Comment by Gerry on 12/04/2012 at 3:01 pm

    This is excellent. Sad, but true. Thank you, Calvin.

  2. Comment by Sherri on 12/04/2012 at 4:57 pm

    I am not certain which of the three elements here is more moving—certainly all! The drawing, the quote by Churchill (who is oft referenced in our battles), or the eloquent reference to L’audace. Especially with the capital letter.

    Thank you, Calvin and Marsh!

  3. Comment by Itasca Small on 12/04/2012 at 5:50 pm

    Most excellent, Calvin, fenbeagle, and Marsh!

    Thank you for raising a lump in my throat and a fresh renewal of the resolve to never give up, never give up, never give up!

    I believe audacity would be a welcome and powerful addition to the quivers of all Wind Warriors!


  4. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 12/04/2012 at 8:18 pm

    Oooooh . . . “L’audace” means audacity! Well . . . why didn’t you say so? To me audacity means having the balls to bring a bunch of bloody chopped up birds to the head honcho’s desk or newspaper editor’s desk and plopping them down with a thump!

    Audacity means unloading a truck of sick cattle or sheep on the front lawn of Queen’s Park [Ontario’s capitol] or your Selectman’s office!

    Audacity means having a full blockade around the perimeter of a IWT site. Mail dead bats to the President or Prime Minister. Let us stop defending and accusing and start the offensive. Don’t pay your property taxes en masse.

    Come on, let me hear your ideas!

    From Melodie, up here yonder in Ontario’s hell to ya’all down there!


  5. Comment by Melodie Burkett on 12/05/2012 at 8:04 am

    Aw, look at the sweet little bug-eater (above)! “RIP, little one.”

    Wish I had a few hundred dead little guys like this to hang all over our big Christmas tree at Queen’s Park! And think how festive that big ol’ Christmas tree at the White House, festooned with dead bats, would look. Hey, you could adorn the top with a big dead swan or bald eagle, too!

    Do you think folks would get riled up? Yes, I do too. BTW, our Toronto Zoo pays zoo staff to teach young orphaned bats to fly! Now that is a subsidy well spent. How on earth did our so-called green environmentalists end up with bats in their belfry, eh? Answer me that one! Fear mongering is a terrible and very dangerous method of controlling a people. It sure worked well in North America, eh?


    Editor’s note: “Bats,” by poet Randall Jarrell:

    A bat is born
    Naked and blind and pale.
    His mother makes a pocket of her tail
    And catches him. He clings to her long fur
    By his thumbs and toes and teeth.
    And then the mother dances through the night
    Doubling and looping, soaring, somersaulting—
    Her baby hangs on underneath.
    All night, in happiness, she hunts and flies.
    Her high sharp cries
    Like shining needlepoints of sound
    Go out into the night and, echoing back,
    Tell her what they have touched.
    She hears how far it is, how big it is,
    Which way it’s going:
    She lives by hearing.
    The mother eats the moths and gnats she catches
    In full flight; in full flight
    The mother drinks the water of the pond
    She skims across. Her baby hangs on tight.
    Her baby drinks the milk she makes him
    In moonlight or starlight, in mid-air.
    Their single shadow, printed on the moon
    Or fluttering across the stars,
    Whirls on all night; at daybreak
    The tired mother flaps home to her rafter.
    The others all are there.
    They hang themselves up by their toes,
    They wrap themselves in their brown wings.
    Bunched upside-down, they sleep in air.
    Their sharp ears, their sharp teeth, their quick sharp faces
    Are dull and slow and mild.
    All the bright day, as the mother sleeps,
    She folds her wings about her sleeping child.

  6. Comment by Fen Beagle on 12/05/2012 at 8:31 am

    This Beagle is male….although the vet had some thoughts on the subject.


    Editor’s note: Click here for an interview with Fenbeagle—shapeshifter, Robin Hood, and Trickster all rolled into one.

  7. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 12/05/2012 at 1:00 pm

    Ahh Melodie, your name is the song of all the birds and the tiny squeaks of valiant bats, and the skree of the spouses of the widowed raptors struck down by the dumb machines.

    Fenbeagle, maintain your disguise. I believe the “goons” are already on my trail.

    But let’s look at this situation we find ourselves in. They have expropriated unto themselves our lives and property. They are colonizing our precious world with their giant machines that bring death and waste and destitution into every corner, onto every hill, through every valley, near every shore, and into the Mother of us all, the sea.

    They mean to drive our cetacean kin, the whales and dolphins, our wise sisters and brothers, screaming out of the very home that they have created for a million years on this Earth.


    How is it that their property rights have now superseded those of the most ancient custodians of life on this planet, and have absconded with the environmental mantel of global stewardship?

    How is it that they have been able to wrap their insidious, sadistic, self promoting and predatory fables in a tissue of green lies?

    Now, it is a conflict between the bearers of burning love against the monstrous life-depriving machines. Those of us whose heads are still connected to our hearts, the human beings, can clearly see what must be done.

    Now we fight!

    Hoka hey! Aho!

    I now adopt all of you, my children!

    Grandfather Marsh Wise Turtle, adopted Elder in the Cherokee Nation

    Editor’s note: Monument to Chief Crazy Horse, Lakota

  8. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 12/05/2012 at 3:28 pm

    As War Chief, the only order that Crazy Horse was ever heard to utter was, “Follow me!”

  9. Comment by Marsh Rosenthal on 12/05/2012 at 4:15 pm

    It was as if he was immune to the swarm of cavalry bullets whizzing around him. He rode up and back in front of them, taunting them.

    Toujours, l’audace!

  10. Comment by David Moriarty on 12/06/2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hello all good people of planet earth. I have a message. The revolution has begun . Now let’s get organized . The door to all world governments has just been kicked open and NOW is our time to rush in and rid the world of these fascist thieves.

    Editor’s note: David, what are you referring to? Can you elaborate?


  11. Comment by Katarina Dea Zetko on 06/25/2014 at 1:36 pm

    Winston Churchill! As far as I know (please correct me Calvin), he recognized the dangers of Nazism long before others did.

    Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Agreement, assuring the English people, “I bring you peace in our time.”

    Later, in Parliament, Sir Winston responded: ” Mr. Chamberlain, in Munich you were given two choices: The choice of DISHONOUR and the choice of WAR. You chose dishonor, and you will have WAR.”

    I think the same applies to this WIND WAR. If we compromise, it only means we make a deal with the devil. There can be no bargaining with the terrorists, since they have no genuine interests.

    Winston Churchill’s principle is universal; it applies to the WIND WAR, as well. If we choose DISHONOUR, we will still have WAR.


  12. Comment by Katarina Dea Zetko on 06/30/2014 at 6:04 pm

    Winston Churcill,

    if we follow him and his principles, we will definitely win this wind war:

    You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

    You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.


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