■ In October 1941, well after World War II had come to England but before it had drawn in the full force of the United States, Winston Churchill admonished an audience to “[N]ever give in, never give in, never, never, never, never
– in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy…”
■ Morale has real-world value. A sense of the moral right really does matter. Willingness to stand and fight
and spit in the face of darkness can be a force multiplier.
■ The cartoon frog choking the seabird is, metaphorically, a lot like the porcupine strategy
for small countries facing the threat of attack from much bigger foes. The larger adversary might have more resources to commit to an invasion, but the defenders can make themselves too painful to digest
■ What is worthy of admiration in the present case is that the metaphorical frog isn’t just choking the bird into a stalemate, it’s trying to bring the bird to its knees so that it flies away and never returns. No matter how this war ends, Ukraine and Russia will still be neighbors sharing a border hundreds of miles long
■ It will easily be at least a generation before anything resembling mutual trust can be established across that border, though probably more. The “never” in “never give in” will have to last a very long time.
■ It’s going to require permanent vigilance on the part of the defenders who appear to be on a hot streak. But it will also require a permanent commitment on the part of others (most especially Americans)to remain well-informed
about and interested in the big picture
of world affairs.
■ A peaceful world order
doesn’t happen spontaneously. It depends upon the assurance that the forces which would perpetrate evil will encounter righteous defenders who will “never, never, never, never” give in – and allies committed to the idea that they should never have to.