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Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech: 70 Years on, America Faces the Same Task

Churchill

Seventy years ago this past weekend an elderly, rotund man stepped up to a podium in Fulton, Mo., and delivered one of the great speeches of the 20th century — and arguably the single most relevant speech for our own time. The man was Winston Churchill, and the speech he gave on March 5, 1946, has been known ever since as the Iron Curtain speech, both because it coined a phrase — “from Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent’’ — to describe the inexorable advance of Josef Stalin’s Communist empire in the aftermath of World War II, and because Churchill had summed up the ideological, as well as the geopolitical, map of the Cold War world for the next 45 years. Certainly it was a prescient moment. In March 1946 many in the United States, including in the Truman administration, still believed the cooperation with the Soviet Union that had won World War II would blossom into permanent friendship. Churchill knew better. Even before the Berlin blockade and Communist coups in Czechoslovakia and Hungary finally awoke the apathetic and the gullible to Stalin’s true designs, Churchill saw that the struggle between freedom and tyranny would continue after the fall of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan — because that struggle is perpetual and unending.
Read more at National Review.

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