People often ask how history will remember our generation of leaders in comparison with Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Many comment that today's leaders look small compared with the giants of the past. This is, I believe, a misconception.
In their day, both Churchill and Roosevelt were frequently criticised, often savagely, by their countrymen, including legislators who had little knowledge of the behind-the-scenes reality of the war.
Martin Gilbert, renowned historian and author of a superb biography of Churchill, argues that if George W Bush and Tony Blair achieve their aims, they will eventually be regarded as highly as Roosevelt and Churchill. Writing in the Observer he elaborates:
Their societies are too divided today to deliver a calm judgment, and many of their achievements may be in the future: when Iraq has a stable democracy, with al-Qaeda neutralised, and when Israel and the Palestinian Authority are independent democracies, living side by side in constructive economic cooperation.
If they can move this latter aim, to which Bush and Blair pledged themselves on 12 November, it will be a leadership achievement of historic proportions.
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