Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Churchill and war-risk spreading and deterrence

Recall the Churchill speech on p.61 regarding spreading the bombing damage among rich and poor by nationwide compulsory insurance? It's right after the Hundreds laws, where you can be held liable if someone does something wrong and you don't stop him.

Turns out Churchill might have been wanting to combine these two very interesting public policy ideas.

As reported by The Guardian, recently released British state secrets--the notebooks of a wartime deputy cabinet secretary--show Churchill wanted to blow up German villagers at a 3:1 ratio for every Czech villager massacred by the Germans. He only dropped the plan at his cabinet's staunch opposition to trying to "enter into a competition of frightfulness" with the Germans.

Also noted are Churchill's willingness to let Ghandi die if he went on a hunger strike during WWII, and the English distaste for American segregation of black and white soldiers. Churchill also makes some comments showing he didn't like Hitler very much. Fascinating.

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