Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has died. She was 87.
Thatcher helped celebrate in 1996 the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain”: speech in Fulton, warning of new dangers emerging in the years after the end of the Cold War. She said the Cold War had ended “amid high hopes of a New World Order.” But instead, she said, those hopes had been “grievously disappointed.” She noted “Bosnia, Somalia, and the rise of Islamic militancy all point to instability and conflict rather than co-operation and harmony.”
Thatcher felt the international bodies that she had hoped would respond in the 1980sand early 90s–the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade “have given us neither prosperity or security.”
She forecast a a new administration in Moscow would be “less friendly to the United States” and create new problems. In fact, she noted, the collapse of the Soviet Union had “aggravated the single most awesome threat of modern times: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
She warned of the West lapsing into “an alarming complacency” since the removal of the risk of nuclear annihilation. “We have rundown our defenses and relaxed our guard,” she said. She said it was mistake to place increased trust in international institutions to safeguard the future of the West.
She concluded, in a vein similar to Churchill’s concluding remarks in 1946, with confidence that “the West–above all perhaps, the English-speaking peoples of the West” held the “best hope of global peace and prosperity.”