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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BREXIT 1940

I overcame my reluctance to go to a movie theater and went to an IMAX screen to see "Dunkirk" by Anglo-American Director Christopher Nolan. The last time I was in a movie theater was January 2015 for Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper."

OK. I was hesitant about seeing "Dunkirk."

I feared that political correctness would wreck that amazing story. I worried that we would have Idris Alba cast as Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Joan Collins as BEF General Lord Gort. Diploson (1), however, saw it and strongly recommended it; in addition, I read the review of the aerial action sequences in one of my favorite blogs (Chant du Depart) and if the exacting author of that fine and exceptionally beautiful blog can find them full of merit, that's good enough for me. So off I went with the Diplowife and Diploson (2).

Let me start by saying that it is a beautifully shot film. The aerial combat scenes, indeed, are exceptional; they provide a breathtaking approximation for us civilians of what must be the chaotic, all-aspect nature of old-time dogfighting. It was hard to believe that the film did not use lots of real Spitfires, Me-109s, Heinkles, etc. The scenes of attacks on shipping, too, evoke a special horror, and the director plays quite effectively on the fear we all (I think) have of drowning in a tight space. In these action scenes, Nolan has produced an amazing technical and artistic achievement that puts to shame a lot of the CGI to which we have become accustomed.

Overall, however, the film left me somewhat cold and distant.

First, there was a bit of the political correctness infection. I counted only two times that the word "German" was used; both were in a scene where British soldiers question a man as to whether he is German. The word "Enemy" is used throughout, including in the opening credits which explain that "The enemy have driven British and French forces . . . " No soldier ever says "Hun," or "Jerry," or "Kraut," or even the word "Nazi." Hitler is never mentioned. Just a faceless, almost sci-fi type enemy. Got to get that German market, eh?

More damning, however, there was no central character with which we could identify fully. One main character was a semi-cowardly, scheming soldier who would do almost anything to get home, including cutting in line and pulling off a variety of deceptions to get on board a rescue vessel. That might well have happened, but I suspect that was NOT the big story at Dunkirk. Maybe I am wrong--tell me, if so. The brave yachtsman played by the superb Mark Rylance might have been more fully developed, but he doesn't get to do much to interest us in his story. He, admittedly, takes part in some very well filmed rescue scenes, but, in the end, those are pretty standard Hollywood/Pinewood.

There are a couple of emotional scenes worth mentioning. One is when the mist clears off the beach at Dunkirk and we see a flotilla of small private craft massed to bring the boys (no girls on this beach) home. Another comes at the end when a soldier on the train going home reads aloud a portion of Churchill's "We Shall Never Surrender" speech to the Parliament after the successful evacuation of hundreds-of-thousands of men from the French coast. Made me think of the state of Britain and the West today, besieged as we are by a new invader, one welcomed by decades of Quisling officialdom. Could Churchill give that speech today without being accused of "hate" speech and xenophobia?

This is still not the definitive movie about Dunkirk. That operation, lest we forget, saved the West from the Nazis. If the BEF had been lost in France, it would be hard to imagine how Britain could have carried on. Churchill probably would have been replaced and the pressure on the new government to negotiate a settlement with Hitler would have been immense and likely irresistible. That's admittedly speculative "what if" history, but I think it is a likely scenario since without the United States the war could not have been won, but without Britain it would surely have been lost. Dunkirk, in my humble view, saved us all from that loss. It deserves a big accurate thorough screen treatment. I will keep looking; meanwhile, however, do go see Nolan's "Dunkirk" and let me know what you think.

90 comments:

  1. I loved the movie. I'm not a history buff but my daughter is and she loved it too. It was too loud in some places. My daughter just got back from Normandy so the movie was very time relevant. From long time lurker

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  2. I'll go see Mark Rylance in anything!

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  3. The immensity of the situation wasn't shown i.e. 400,000 stranded soldiers on the beach or 1000 small craft coming to the rescue. That was disappointing.

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  4. I saw it. Same reaction. Could've been a monster or aliens movie. The teenager on the boat with the mop of blonde hair did what "kids" in modern scripts do... they're measured and knowing and act above their grade. That the man driving the boat would not let the kid steer and tend to a injured boy was a tell... a modern tell.

    The beach scenes drove me crazy. Where are the NCO's !?? It's magic British spirit to line up! No way these troops were mingling and running around and doing whatever they wanted to evacuate... especially in the British Army circa 1940. No freaking way.

    Cinematogrophy was spellbinding. Too many scenes lingered too long. No context was given to a modern audience who has no idea what the BEF was or that it was pinned on a beach, much less rescued, or that the French had a army that provided for the rescue.

    Nolan robbed all of us forever or getting a good movie on Dunkirk. It's done. Nolan's ego ruined it. He had to make a movie that is distant and artsy, but strange and short and yet, will make enough money, it will draw copy cat movies of yesteryear... free to be un-tied to fact or context or narrative.

    Had Harry Stiles not been cast... or even Tom Hardy, there is no way this movie would do well. A missed opportunity. Sad.

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  5. Dip,

    You should read John Lukacs seminal work '5 Days in London, May 1940' which covers the period around the Battle of Dunkirk and the evacuation, and fully describes the pressure Churchill faced from Chamberlin and Halifax in Cabinet to make a peace with Germans. Most people really don't understand how close Britain came seeking a peace from Hitler.

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    1. Yes. It was incredibly close that Halifax, who the King preferred, would take charge and surrender. Churchill later sent him to the US to get him out of the way.

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  6. I have read that the French complain that their sacrifice at Dunkirk is neglected in the film. Some French argue that the Brits actually surrendered and the French helped them evacuate.
    I have seen the movie and I am not too overwhelmed. I guess that Nolan wants the Brits to longingly think back on "the good old days" when the Brits were united. There was a war, yes, but the worst consequences of it did not hit Britain but elsewhere.
    There is, as often in historic films, a disturbing filter of todays way of looking, talking, acting and thinking . Everybody has good, white teeth, for example. Well, I often found myself thinking, no, people could not have been like this in the 40s.
    And the scenes in that stranded boat that the Germans shot full of holes. How could these soldiers ever imagine that this vessel would float again even if one man was kicked out ?
    I can also imagine that many Brits, after seeing the movie, think, all this and the entire war and for what ? We are now besieged by new invaders we cannot do anything about. We even have a Muslim mayor in the city of London.
    Swedishlady

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    1. All good points. I, too, was struck by the silliness about the stranded boat floating again.

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  7. The Col and I loved the movie and went despite critics comments. It is not Saving Private Ryan, but was not meant to be. And to us, both history buffs, and having lived a long time, we thought the film showed the real heroes.....those ordinary people who showed up and stood and saluted and got into small vessels to make the trip over and back for five days......
    I realize that the Miracle of Dunkirk (I think the Movie should have held the name the history books gave it when we were kids) was just that...a miracle of ordinary people responding with great bravery. And who knows. Our next conflict may require this of us....even old farts who are now ranchers, after distinguished military careers.....you never know, (said my husband....)....
    I commend the movie to everyone..
    East Texas Rancher...

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  8. My first thought, was that of the civilian participation in the evacuation of Dunkirk. I think could such a thing ever happen again in our "modern" world? Would the Brits or even us, as Americans rise to the occasion of a grave emergency.

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    2. But will there be enough?. See picture at Lifestyle section at PJM OF young man sitting on park bench.

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    3. I see what you mean! But, there are women out there who will step on 'him' on the way to help the men!

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    4. I believe the answer to your question is 'yes'.
      To expand:

      Every time we have a war the question is asked; "where do we get these men?" The answer is all around us. The normal, average Tommies and Joes who drive trucks, repair the plumbing, go up tall ladders and do the countless other vital jobs that keep our countries running. I have met many of these men in passing over the years and they are, in my opinion, little different from their fathers or grand-fathers in basic character.

      Focusing on the 'celebrities' and other educated fashionable folk in our capitals and on our televisions is a mistake. Despite their loud voices and command of the bully-pulpit they do not represent or remotely understand our countries.

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  9. I'll likely not go to the theater, scarce nearabouts to here.

    Still have a question though, when twice the word "German" was mentioned, was either an association with this fellow, Captain Fritz Knochlein?

    JK

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  10. Thanks for the writeup; I think I'll wait until it's out on DVD, as I usually do. The comments about the "political correctness infection" as you so well put it interest me most; that disease mars so many films these days.

    Recently I saw "Kingdom of Heaven," also a beautifully shot film, with breathtakingly gorgeous panoramic views of the Holy Land. To me, it was far too modern in treatment, though based on truth like Dunkirk. It had agnostic heros and "Christian" bad guys, with Saladin being noble as he spared the population while conquering Jerusalem; and let's include a strong independent woman, of course; I'm sure there were lots of them around in the 12th century.

    Historical films would be a great deal better if they weren't "improved" by modern ideas applied to historical figures, IMHO. But then, I'd like the "news" media to just give me the facts too, and I'm frustrated with that as well.

    Maybe that's why I watch a lot of anime these days!

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    1. Wife and daughter watched "Swing Kids" yesterday evening. I was reading in the next room. All of us agreed that it was stupid, but some wondered why they did the movie just that way.

      It's Hollywood, of course. The way to defeat evil is to watch rebellious movies, made in Hollywood, of course, and Hitler will be brought down by these musical rebels. I could not begin to say whether anyone was arrested for listening to American jazz.What I do know is that, in 1938, when that movie was set, people went to prison for short terms and were released. Even Jews, like Bruno Bettelheim, could be bribed out of Dachau in those early days.Knowing that, I can't get as worked up over the tragic scenes of young people being hauled away in trucks.

      So, Hollywood will be our undoing, and, if Dunkirk is an exception, it's worth seeing. I am grateful for the reviews, which help me decide whether to spend money on what I'll see for nearly free in a year or so.

      MFA

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  12. Any movie about Dunkirk with British soldiers and the name Jerry or Hun not being used is too fucking politically correct (wrong)for me.
    Saving Private Ryan was well done too but that doesn't mean I'm going to accept it as gospel.
    Avatar had great CGI but the premise showed how HolyWood is full of morons out only for a buck.
    Drop a ROCK you idiots.
    Problem solved.
    No. No HolyWood for me.
    I'd rather rewatch Combat! or The Longest Day or Hamburger Hill. At least they are not full of the lefty narcissism that infest the media of today.
    Just because something looks good doesn't NOT make it a shit sandwhich.

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    1. Saving Private Ryan was OK the first ten minutes. After that it was full of errors, like soldiers on patrol all keeping close enough that one mortar round would get them all. Also the quote "Maybe the only decent thing to come out of this..." is baloney. A few million Jews might object.

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    2. I agree 100%. As a kid I was surrounded by WWII. My dad, indeed all the dads in the neighborhood were WWII vets. Even the German guy next door was a veteran of the Russian front! My dad would have never talked like the guys in Private Ryan. They were 90's guys dressed up in 40's military gear. Spielberg had this problem in all (maybe not Schindler's List) his History movies - it's modern people in period costume.

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  13. I enjoyed the movie, but agree it has its flaws. It's still far better than much of the dreck coming out of Hollywood. I was simultaneously mildly amused but also quite irritated at a couple of reviews wondering where all the minorities and women were in the movie. Those complaining know NOTHING of history. Ugh.

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    1. "Those complaining know NOTHING of history". I think that has been the goal. Easier to re-write it to suit.

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  14. O/T, but important in my little world:
    June Foray; the voice of Natasha Fatale (Bullwinkle), Witch Hazel, etc has died.

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    1. Never really recovered from that car wreck when she was ninety seven. She was truly brilliant. Anyone who could voice both Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha could play just about any movie role out there. RIP

      Michael Adams

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    2. I remember in the late 80's she was on Howard Stern- did a very funny bit about Rocky wanting to get laid.

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  15. I was extremely disappointed. Altho' the cinematography was beautiful and the pacing was tense, compelling and moving, the film lacked all context. We have no idea how the BEF came to be in this fix. Nor is there any indication that the evacuation took place over 9 days. THe film makes it look like maybe 48 hrs. Only about 6 British navy ships are shown - all get bombed and sunk. Even the civilian flotillas arrival is just one shot. They don't show the shuttling of troops out to ships, the cramming them onto small boats, which I think would have been the most moving part. And we only get to see/know the one civilian boat captain, when I think seeing/hearing the motivation of all those small boat owners would have been fascinating. And they only show a very small squadron of fighter planes fighting off the German bombers. It seemed like just a few visually interesting snapshots, when with a more fully developed story it could have been truly stunning.
    I also saw a little British film called Their Finest about making a film about Dunkirk -- a sweet romantic film showing the propaganda angles that went into writing and filming during the war.
    Delilah

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  16. Love your comments Sir and the comments to yours. One of the best sites on the web. Have been lurking, as someone else said for a while. Thanks.

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  17. I haven't seen the movie and, having seen the trailer, I do not intend to. For me, the definitive account of the Miracle of Dunkirk has always been, and will remain, Paul Gallico's "The Snow Goose".

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  18. I am impressed with this professional critical review. Maybe a second career in the making?

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  19. Have not seen the movie. Thanks for the review.
    You all seem more knowledgeable about things then me. If I may ask.

    Is it possible that British Intelligence and the future attack on the Soviet Union were the reasons that hitler paused, allowing the evacuation?.
    I always thought he believed, that by not killing the bulk of the BEF, those people in the British Royal family and the British government that espoused his views, would be able to get rid of Churchill, form a new government, and agree to quit fighting.
    He never had qualms about killing people. Something more important than his trying to be "a good sport" about things or that he was showing the Generals "who's boss" (just a couple of reasons from history books), seem to make sense. Of course he was crazy, that could be the reason also.
    British Intelligence was very effective against the Germans during the war. Wasn't the ex King of England "banished" to Bermuda during the war?. My wife had an Uncle who worked construction on Bermuda for the entire war. Secret stuff was all he would say. He did admit to knowing Sir William Stephenson "The Man Called Intrepid". And he would never say when he started. And I asked.
    Thanks

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    1. There is a pretty good argument that it was the generals, von Kleist whose panzers had run hard for two weeks, and von Rundstedt, who called the halt. Some discussion.

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    2. Interesting article. Could very well be the real reason.
      I just remember my wife's old Uncle, smiling at me once, ending our discussion of something, (not Dunkirk) and saying "don't believe everything you read in the history books" and disappeared into the barn.
      Thanks again.

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  20. Not clear from Dilpomad's review why he or anyone else recommends film. Others have also written there are no central characters to identify with. So it keeps sounding like a series of very well shot battle scenes, but where the two sides could have been anyone. I suppose the Brits are easily identifiable by British accents.

    The whole thing is hugely ironic, even farcical, as Britain, 70 years later, willingly gave its sovereignty to Germany - ie., the EU, without a shot being fired and is now half-heartedly trying to extricate itself from that stranglehold - with much of the elite wanting to stay in it. My father was a GI who was the "historian" of his WWII bombing squadron. That means he kept the records of all the missions. He brought copies home and I have read them. 298 missions, dropping 15,000 tonnes of bombs, over Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. The destruction and horror of all that - both the the American airmen, and the populations under the bombs, to save Britain and the Continent from German rule - only to have Britain and the Continent willingly hand themselves over to German rule is, to me, mind-boggling. Germany now is destroying Europe more thoroughly than Hitler ever did. No genocide yet, but how far away, in one form or another, are massive violence and deaths? Britain, in or out of the EU, is also busily eradicating its identity and heritage.

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    1. whitewall

      Thx. I have read my father's mission reports a number of times. They include targets, damage assessments and American casualties. With 15,000 tonnes of bombs, I can imagine the casualties on the ground. The willingness of European countries now to be ruled by Germany to me makes a mockery of all that death and destruction. I don't know that someone who didn't see all that death and destruction or hasn't read a first hand account of it would have the reaction I have always had to the EU. And if none of the countries care about preserving their national identity and heritage, what was the war about anyway? (I'm not mentioning Jews, as Europe gladly gave them up for slaughter to the Nazis, so no surprise they will do it again. Although, bizarrely, today, many Jews are liberals totally in favor of the muslimization of the West. I have no idea how they think they will be OK.) I guess this gets off the subject of the movie.

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    2. Your frustration is widely shared. Why D-Day, Battle of the Bulge, on and on? Western Europe seems to have lost its vigor and will. After a century of Leftism's assault on the people, they have given in and Islam is working with Leftists to complete the collapse. Looks like I'm off subject now.

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    3. Msher,is Germany destroying Europe more than Hitler ever did ? Really ? I am not sure what you mean here. Yes, Germany is an economic giant with great industries , yes, it benefits very much from having the Euro instead of the D-mark, and yes, it might be the financial centre after Brexit, but still, it doesn´t rule the EU, this Behemoth with faceless bureaucrats and anti-democratic agendas.In my opinion EU is an elite-project to serve the elites. I don´t equal Germany= EU. Germany still seems to be an occupied country with politicians obedient to Washington. Why else would Merkel allow Obama to twice use (or rather, misuse ) Brandenburger Tor for his stupid, scripted campaign performances ? Why enforce the US sanctions against Russia that are so hurtful for European/German business and economy ? I hear a slight rumble now though, against the latest set of sanctions. Have they finally had enough ? With Obama, the neocons had a political correct, untouchable polish on their agendas, Trump has removed that veil ( and he is really anti-sanctions ).
      However, Merkel ( Germany) has in a way destroyed Europe in a Hitleresque way when she allowed all these non-European migrants to invade. And no security control. And so did our brain-less PM. Oh dear, I am back talking migrants again, but this issue is the biggest today over here, it eclipses everything else. This happened so quickly, this is so overwhelming, we, the ordinary Europeans were never asked about it and we are still confused, overwhelmed and furious . Whose idea is this ? Who wants to destroy the old Europe ? Well, the circle will go round, maybe we will end up with new nationalistic leaders, just like in the30-40s. Maybe many of us will have to evacuate to.....Hungary ?
      By the way, I am glad that you, in your comments, also consider the sufferings of all those people, mostly civilians, that were hit by the bombs. There is too often a lopsided perspective in British/American reports, films etc concerning the war.
      Swedishlady

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    4. Swedish Lady, not Hungary, Texas. Spend some time in saunas, wet and dry, to acclimate to the heat. Come in "Winter" which usually coincides with what the rest of the world calls mid-December to mid-January, then build up. You'll be fine, and your wit and wisdom will ensure your welcome.

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    5. Swedishlady

      My father's reports did damage assessments and the summary of the 298 missions specified 15,000 tonnes of bombs dropped. This was only one squadron, 25-30 planes. So it's impossible not to think of the people under those falling bombs - even if imho the Germans asked for it. (His squadron's targets mostly transportation infrastructure, some munitions factories, a little ground support, and they flew D Day. Targets sometimes in cities, e.g., Cologne. They didn't fly Dresden. They were briefed to hit Berchtesgaden, but mission scrubbed.)

      Leaving aside the Nazi genocides, my guess is a Nazi controlled Europe would have evolved into something not too different than the statist EU. In my view, given the massive gov't intrusion in terms of regulation and the absence free speech, and the state's right to over rule parents and decree life and death (the Charlie Bard case just the most well know example), the EU is a police state. Hitler was an environmentalist and obsession with climate change would have fit right into the occultism/anti Christianity of Nazism. And Nazis encouraged high birth rates. So Europe might have gone that route instead of encouraging immigration. So arguably, Europe might have been better off than under today's EU. I agree EU is globalist/elite run. But I think you underestimate the degree of German hegemony. Controlling the euro means controlling everything.

      Yes, imho, Merkel, the EU and the Swedish government are all more destructive than Hitler. Hitler murdered Jews, gypsies and Slavs. Merkel, the EU and the Swedish government have set in place the demographic destruction of the Europe as part of Western civilization. How much death, destruction and genocide remains to be seen. Are Europeans going to rise and fight back? Is Europe doomed to an eternal Lebanon-type civil war? Or are Europeans going to just accept the gradual take over by Muslim factions - and eventually be slaughtered as they don't convert? My guess is the latter as Europeans have lost any sense of identity and Christianity is no longer a motivating factor.

      I don't want to sound smug. As you surely know, similar things are occurring here in America in terms of third world immigration. Hispanic more so than Muslim. The traditional melting pot/assimilation model having been discarded for "multi-culti." Half of our population fought back by electing Trump, as half of Britain tried to fight back with Brexit. (Interesting that it is two Anglo heritage systems that tried to fight back. Hard to know what to make of that, as actually biggest demographic background in U.S. is..German!) In both cases rebellion is being sabotaged by establishment forces. Eastern Europe is fighting back. Western Europe - giving itself to Islam. How do you explain Sweden? From my vantage point, it is insane. I actually was in Malmo once many decades ago. Wouldn't set foot there today.

      I can't explain current hostility towards Russia - from many who embraced Soviet Union. The same people trying to destroy traditional America - our "establishment" - are pushing hostility towards Russia. Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but I note that Russia an openly Christian country determined to keep its own identity.

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    6. Swedishlady

      Re Russia: I realize I'm trying to say Putin is a Christian determined to keep Russia's identity. Maybe that is what this is all about - toppling Putin because those destroying America and Europe do not want a strong separate Christian Russia either. If one goes with that line of thought, one could note China seems not to be under the same kind of attack. China and Islam seem to be being left to thrive. I have no idea what to make of that.

      Incidentally, I am not Christian. But I write a lot about Christianity because it is impossible to miss the attack on it and the consequent appeasement to and acceptance of Islam. Would Dilpomad agree it was the force of Christianity that finally kicked the Moors out of Spain?

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    7. " I can't explain current hostility towards Russia - from many who embraced Soviet Union."

      Smoke and mirrors to me.
      The "left" here hates America.
      They'll do anything to bring it down. I'm thinking the democrats that matter have been bought and paid for by Mr. Putin long ago.

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    8. Michael Levine

      What about Republicans, who are equally hostile?

      Assuming Dems and most GOP are same globalist, open borders administrative state Uniparty, would you sketch out what you think big picture is if they are marching to Putin's orders. I can't put together any narrative where facts indicate that, nor any narrative of an end-game where that fits. (I'm not talking about isolated cases of pay off here and there. That's always possible. But that DOESN'T explain massive Congressional hostility, nor does isolated cases seem to be what you are referring to.) Thx.

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    9. Msher

      I do believe that there is nothing important to be found in the current investigation of Russian collusion with the Trump administration. I believe it is meant to take the American people's attention away from the crimes of the democrats to things that just don't matter. Many reasons I feel this way, and this not being about Dunkirk, I'll give one.
      Our previous President was caught on tape, explaining his ability, to be more flexible after the 2012 election, to be relayed to Mr. Putin. No one investigated that, and the media said nothing. The fact that they and the democrats are screaming the loudest about the situation tells me there is nothing there.
      My choice of words, as is sometimes the case, were incorrect. I have no proof that Mr Putin did any of the things I said. I actually can find things about him to respect, even more for the Russian people.

      "What about Republicans, who are equally hostile?"

      Enemies of our country call themselves many different things, it's their actions that speak as to who they really are.
      Thanks

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    10. A Nation's survival, guess it's kind of relevant to Dunkirk.

      Msher
      I also think (hope), that the appointment of a U.S.Marine to be the President's Chief of Staff will put an end to trivialities such as the current Russia Investigation. President Trump is showing that, if needed, they'll be a real fight to clean up the "swamp". One the "swamp"will lose in the end.

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    11. Michael Levine

      Thx. There does seem to be some recent Russian "stirring of the pot." But here's my first problem with the scenario that this is all Putin messing with Trump. One thing Trump is accomplishing, precisely because of all the Russia hysteria, is energy, energy, energy. I would have expected massive greenie/Dem protests over Paris pull out, pipelines, repeal of coal regs. Nothing. All the attention has been on supposed Russian collusion. The thing the U.S. can most do to hurt Russia is to become an energy exporter - and on that, no one is stopping Trump.

      I agree the inattention to the Obama "hot mic" comment even by Congressional GOP is astonishing. It would seem both media and Congress have become traitors to the U.S. I think he was talking about disarming the U.S. So he was hurting the US., which the globalists want to do. But then... murkiness. That's my second problem with your scenario. The Arab Spring, toppling Gaddafi, transfer of billions to Iran, not stopped or questioned by Congress, and arming ISIS, all approved by Congress. What consistency of end-game?

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    12. Msher
      I think that the forces pushing this Russia crap provide entertainment for Mr. Putin. I don't think he's behind any of it.
      I think that we should not be out there trying to hurt him. I think that we should be allies with him in the fight against, for want of a better term "radical Islam".
      Additionally, if more and more areas of Europe institute sharia law, we need to ditch NATO, draw up a new treaty, one that should include Russia, and work together against a future radicalized Europe. We should focus on our common interests not our differences. I think President Trump could do that.

      "The Arab Spring, toppling Gaddafi, transfer of billions to Iran, not stopped or questioned by Congress, and arming ISIS, all approved by Congress. What consistency of end-game?"

      The end game is a world ruled by sharia law and an impotent America.
      I see much that benefits the mb in all this.
      I see the mb as today's nazis and don't understand allowing cair and the mb to flourish in our country. They are enemies of America.
      I do believe that there are now members of Congress that are traitors to America. I believe that obama was and is a traitor to America. The only proof I need is by having observed their actions.
      I'm hoping that President Trump's appointment of Lt Gen. Kelley means that the traitors working for our govt., at present or in the previous administration will see they are no longer "above the law".
      Ah the joys of "venting", no TUMS tonight.
      Thanks

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    13. I'll buy the Muslim Brotherhood. Somehow they span Iran (Shia) and Sunni. Russia has everything also to fear from them, but I guess hope to keep them at bay by buying off Iran and Syria. You didn't mention scariest person of all - Huma Aberdin, who would have been right at Pres. Hillary's side. There are pictures of a teen-aged Chelsea carrying a Koran. Wonder how that happened.

      Now just fit in China. Happy dreams tonight.

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    14. Huma Aberdin
      Definitely agree about her.

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    15. Msher

      I need to add this:

      I do not believe the "forces of good" can do anything but fight delaying actions in the fight against the "forces of evil". The people that believe in one God are not unified in this fight.

      I've posted on this subject as PITA 13 at PJM. Thought that's what would appear here, not my name. Oh well, I'm not ashamed of my views.

      Copy of 1 article's address shown.

      My religious views can be found from posts under the name Humble Heritic, all in 2015 at PJM also, mostly Belmont Club.
      I include all this because the host has a right to ask me to leave if he so wishes.
      And I am thinking of changing my name to Don Quixote.
      Thanks.

      https://pjmedia.com/faith/2017/07/24/prepare-your-children-now-for-life-in-post-christian-america/

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    16. michael levine

      I can't find your posts. But I agree with everything you said above. Plus, those, other than Muslims, who believe in a single god are increasingly apathetic in their belief. Conviction beats apathy every time. I have been an atheist since a teen. But my conviction as to the value/benefit of judeo-christian civilization and my abhorrence of the teachings and practices of Islam are very, very strong.

      I agree with your point about NATO and have written that before myself - i.e., what happens to the weapons, esp. the nukes, in a muslimized Europe? How much technology should we be sharing? Although, we're selling to the Saudis, so all this, except the nukes, may be a moot point. (Do we still have any nukes in Turkey? I hope not.)

      We actually ARE on the subject of the movie. What was the point of that heroic effort, or any resistance to Hitler, given what Europe has done since? Subsequent events make the movie a farce. That's why I wouldn't consider going to see it. I don't know whether I am over-reacting to my father's mission reports, which made the WWII death and destruction so real to me.



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    17. Msher, I reacted when you wrote " the Germans asked for it". The bombs you mean. Oh no, they were sacrificial pawns, civilians always are.
      Hitler lost the presidency election 1932 to old Hindenburg but his party, the NSDAP, rose in popularity and got strong in the Reichstag. Why wouldn´t the ordinary German like promises of jobs, infrastructure, law and order ? It was chaotic in Germany during Weimar. Later on, Hitler was appointed Kanszler and transformed Germany into a one-party system. My point is, politicians always play their game above the heads of ordinary people who just want to get on with their lives and hopefully prosper which they, by the way ,did, during Hitlers first years of rule. They didn´t deserve to burn because of this.
      I am glad your father and crew never flew Dresden.Have you read about the Trümmelfrauen, the legions of women, who went out with their wheelbarrows to pick up their dead and the sticks and stones of their ruined cities to rebuild them? They were truly heroic and there are Denkmals, monuments , all over Germany in their remembrance. And I think it is amazing how these cities were rebuilt again, look at Dresden, the buildings look like they did in the 18th century. It is a German triumph, these people can really pull themselves together. There is much to admire in German culture.
      By the way, I believe that the Russia-thing has a lot to do with stopping the Russian gas to Europe and trying to pave the way for more MidEast energy instead. The lines would have to go through Syria so , hence, the coup attempt against Assad.
      And behind all these intrigues echoes David Rockefellers chilling words in Baden 1991: "the supernational sovereignity of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determinism practised in past centuries." It is Sauron speaking of a new World Order. The new one-party-system.
      Swedishlady

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    18. Swedishlady

      My father didn't fly That's why he was around to document the 40 months of the squadron's activities from training to VJ Day, when instead of going to the Pacific, they got the news they would be going home. I think for soldiers, the European war didn't really end til VJ Day, as most were awaiting orders to the Pacific. I don't know how many missions airmen flew in this squadron, as there is no mention of that in the mission reports, but the number I hear generally is 25.

      Why I think Germans had it coming:

      1) The Nuremberg and other rallies were not about jobs, but conquest and racial superiority. The Germans could decide they were a superior race - no problem. It is a problem when they kill off inferior races. I believe most Germans participated in the thuggery, e.g., Krystall Nacht and knew of the concentration camps. America interred the Japanese - in sparse but liveable conditions, with medical care, and they survived. Jews, gypsies and Slavs in German camps didn't. Nazism was pure murderous thuggery, and, imho, the Germans embraced it.

      2. The Germans suffered during a worldwide depression. Others suffered too. They didn't invade neighboring countries and commit genocide. If Germany had a beef, it was with France and to a lesser extent, Britain.

      3. I have seen film of Germans cheering newsreels of the flattening of Warsaw by the Wermacht. What had Warsaw done to Germany that Germans cheered its destruction? Perhaps those films of the cheering audiences more than anything make me think Germans themselves belonged on the receiving end.

      4. Germany's invasion plan of Britain revolved around first destroying London, again, a civilian city.

      Re Dresden: the firestorm wasn't done on purpose. They didn't know how to do that on purpose. I have read a number of books on Dresden. By far the best is by British historian Frederick Taylor, entitled "Dresden.'

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    19. Msher

      "We actually ARE on the subject of the movie. What was the point of that heroic effort, or any resistance to Hitler, given what Europe has done since?"
      My take on europe.
      We defeated the Germans not the nazis. They just moved to other locations, knowing they would be back. Weren't there quite a few people back then pushing the dangers of the Soviet Union to justify letting many nazis to escape justice?.
      The people of Europe can not reconcile how their Christian values could allow so many of it's citizens to try and destroy it's Jewish population before and during WW2. Rather then look inwards into how this occurred, the true reasons that led them to their failures as God loving people, they have given up completely any pretense of even believing in God. So they work to complete what they started. A Europe without Jews. They really do not know of any other way. It does not matter to them what their replacement citizens believe. When the time comes for Europeans to "convert or die", not believing in anything, they will convert and continue their descent into oblivion. And that choice will be offered to them sooner rather than later.

      "What was the point of that heroic effort, or any resistance to hitler"
      Without that heroic effort, I and many others (not just Jews but Christians also), would never had the chance to exist at all.
      Evil was stopped, but only temporarily.
      Thanks

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    20. Msher, you bring up a very complex picture. Well, there is still a lively debate about when and how much civilians knew of what happened in the Third Reich. We will never know. Also, consider the extremely efficient propaganda. And if Herr und Frau Jedermann started wondering about reports from the Eastern Front or worry about disappearing neighbors, what could they do ? What could the Soviet citizens do about their misery ? They all lived in totalitarian states. Once in a while ordinary people rose to heroic stature, like the Scholls, sister and brother. Please read about them, their sad fate illustrates well how dangerous life was, how difficult resistance was. I also recommend books by the German author Hans Fallada that well illustrates life before and during the Third Reich, "Little man what now ?" from 1933 and " Every Man dies alone" from 1946. They are both excellent.
      Bombings happen for various reasons, collateral damages happen all the time but no, I can never agree that civilians deserve bombings.
      Swedishlady

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    21. Msher
      Your last post to Swedishlady.

      "Perhaps those films of the cheering audiences more than anything make me think Germans themselves belonged on the receiving end"

      I worked with a customer (home remodeling) who was born in Germany before the war. She was Jewish and her husband ended up in the ss. He was never heard from again after the Germans surrendered at Stalingrad. She was secretly helped by members of the small community where she lived after that. She would not tell me the name of the town.
      She talked about how there were a lot of good people that were destroyed along with the bad, but that was always the nature of war. I said to her something like "obviously there weren't enough of the good people to put a stop to hitler". She responded along the lines of "that there were enough good people but that they wouldn't speak up when it mattered. Before they knew it, it was too late". She was a fascinating woman. She had been through a lot and was one of the kindest and most gentle people I have ever met.
      Thanks

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    22. michael levine

      Your theory re guilt doesn't explain Denmark or Britain, neither of which have any reason to have WWII guilt or Spain, Sweden or Switzerland who were neutrals. Poland, traditionally anti-semitic is fighting to keep its identity and is talking again about Jews. Of course George Soros financing migrants doesn't help.

      michael levine and swedishlady

      Of course there were good and innocent Germans, and some very courageous ones too. There were an awful lot, though, who were not. As you say, we will never know the actual percentages. But look at Germany post-war and today. They paid a lot or reparations and then turned pacifist, pc, greenie and statist. Not doing much good in the world, Still dictatorially, imho, forcing its ways on Europe. Right now leading it to suicide. But I don't have any answers. I don't understand this urge to suicide, which infects half of America too. That brings me full circle - sad and bewildered about the world. I have stopped watching/reading news now on many days because I don't want to know what's happening.

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    23. Misher

      "Your theory re guilt doesn't explain Denmark or Britain, neither of which have any reason to have WWII guilt or Spain, Sweden or Switzerland who were neutrals."

      Good points. Thank you for that.

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    24. Misher

      "Your theory re guilt doesn't explain Denmark or Britain, neither of which have any reason to have WWII guilt or Spain, Sweden or Switzerland who were neutrals."

      You're right those countries do not fit my narrative.

      I guess not enough good people are speaking out before it becomes too late. Have to think on this one.
      I watch One American News, have never yelled at the TV as I do listening to Fox now. They do devote time to Europe on a regular basis.
      Thanks

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    25. There is still hope. While Christianity is being beaten back in western europe and america, I read (somewhere, I really ought to look it back up) that Christianity is the only religion that grows in the cultural shallows, rather than the depths. ie, Christianity grows organically around the world, not at the borders of the countries of its adherents. And apparently it is still the fastest growing religion in the world, but only by people, not by acre.
      Christianity is also the *only* major non-culturally-imperially religion. Different cultures experience Christianity uniquely. While all churches certainly share a bond, they're also very different in many traditions.
      These traits do not describe hinduism, buddhism, or Islam.

      I'd expect bigger gains in Christianity to be made (or continue to be made) in China and India where it is culturally or legally forbidden.

      I don't know that Europe is truly lost.... the poles and a few other segments aren't backing down, but for the most part, france and brittain may reasonably considered some sort rearguard at this point.

      Michael Levine, excellent synopsis of what's been concerning me about America in the last ten years. When people say 'oppression', they often invoke Hitler, but what America is coming to is more clearly displayed in "Brave New World", as you appear to reference.

      So far, churches have been allowed to 'discriminate against gay marriage', so long as they perform weddings for members and without advertisement. That is *already* state oppression of the church. But that's not enough, because churches receive tax exempt status, which will not be allowed by the Progressivists. This is the route by which churches will begin being shut down. All those fair-weather Christians who donate to churches on their marginal faith will fail to see the value when those funds aren't removed from their income. Many churches will be forced to make the choice of becoming like Presbyterian USA (effectively espousing that the Bible is merely good reading and that the new testament is a figurative work) or disbanding. Certainly a few will thrive... and it's even possible that this new post-American clamp down on liberties will help the church overall. Won't help america. But who cares about that anymore?

      - reader #1482

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    26. one other thought... Pope Francis (apologies to catholics, but I generally prefer to call him Pope Fancypants) seems to have succeeded in his quest to get the media off his back in an effort to have the church defined by its mission rather than the divisive issues which generate conflict with secularism. But I'm not certain that this goal is actually what is needed, as it seems to play into the Progressivist Playbook by squelching the debate (over sexuality in the modern world, for example) and then declaring the debate over.
      When the pope declines to weigh in on whether homosexuality is pleasing to God, the Progressivists declare the debate 'over' and that the answer is 'yes'.

      Also on the plus side, secular birth rates are *way* down, and birth rates among active Christians are not... so there's hope there too.

      - reader #1482

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    27. reader #1482

      A bit long but suits your Christian-Progressivist concept well: http://malcolmpollack.com/2017/07/30/plus-ca-change-2/

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  21. Thank you for the kind words Lewis.

    As to the film, I enjoyed it for the mood it set. I have an advantage in that I knew the "backstory" if you will. The film took me there, back to 1940.

    At least one veteran in Canada, who was at Dunkirk, said the film took him back to those days, it felt right to him.

    As entertainment it doesn't stand up with regards to plot, character development and all that, but for putting the viewer in that place and time, I loved it. The historian in me was well satisfied.

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    1. Hmmmm. Maybe I will see it after all. Thanks, OldAFSarge.

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  22. More damning, however, there was no central character with which we could identify fully.

    I've been having that problem with a lot of movies lately. Since the movie never gets me invested in any of the characters, I never care whether any of them live or die, so the big action scenes just leave me cold.

    And then the wife gets annoyed because I didn't like a movie she loved...

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  23. Two of my uncle's flew Dresden. One never talked about it, except to say that is was horrific and he still has nightmares about it.
    They are all gone now. The best examples of man, who fought for the good, are almost all gone.
    Today we have mostly the nihilists who wait in the wings.
    Will we save ourselves from the intention of the muslims to outbreed europe and install a repressive caliphate?
    Only time will tell.
    https://www.amazon.com/Caliphate-Tom-Kratman/dp/1439133425

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    1. Dwan Seicheine, I am sorry I didn´t see your comment before I posted my response to Msher above. I wrote about Dresden.
      http://mashable.com/2017/01/28/rebuilding-dresden/#KuCIoyB20kqy
      I am sure your uncles were good men and I can understand their reactions to Dresden. 25 000 civilians died, the lovely baroque city reduced to rubble. Look at the pictures. May it never happen again.
      Swedishlady

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  24. Speaking of movies, I DARE Hollywood to make a movie like "Caliphate" from Tom Kratman.
    The book is free and part of Baen books free library.
    http://www.baen.com/caliphate.html

    Hollywood would never do it though, because it shows what nebbishes they truly are.

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  25. Tnx for the heads up. I was just about to break my "never feed the dog at the table" rule and visit the local gigaplex to watch this movie. The last movie I hungered for (I'm a math geek) was "The Imitation Game"; I discovered the title was more appropriate to the historical revisionism than the subject matter.

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  26. Regarding Dresden and the firestorm not done on purpose. The bomb mix of incendiary and explosive (See below) was designed to create massive fires. With the right weather conditions a firestorm resulted.

    Dresden was behind the Iron Curtain. It was to the Soviets advantage to keep the bombing of Dresden alive, long after the criticism of similar attacks in the West had died down.

    Additionally, Dresden was a communications hub then. much as it is a communications hub now.

    Davod

    Bomber Command Executive Codeword: "COOKIE/PLUMDUFF"
    Target Type: Heavily Industrialised Cities
    1 x 4,000 lb Amatol, Minol or Tritonal filled, impact-fused High Capacity (HC) bomb. 3 x 1,000 lb short-finned, short-delay, tail-armed HE bombs, and up to 6 SBC's with 4 lb or 30 lb incendiary bombs."
    http://www.lancaster-archive.com/lanc_bomb_loads.htm

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    1. Davod

      Drsden had a munitions factory, and more important, was a rail hub. German soldiers were being carried eastwards to fight the advancing Soviets who were only 60 miles eastwards.

      There was only one other firestorm bombing I know of in ETO - Hamburg.

      After war, for propaganda purposes, Soviets claimed casualties 250,000. True number 25,00-35,000, which is horrific enough.

      As I wrote above, I found the best account to be by British historian, Frederick Taylor, so I take my info from his book. I know nothing that contradicts anything he wrote. You disagree on question of whether they knew how to create a firestorm. I have not tried to exhaustively research that. In the 298 bombing missions my father wrote mission reports on, damage assessments are probably most important part of reports. There is no mention of any attempt to create firestorm, but squadron did not fly Dresden.

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  27. Regarding Dunkirk. I read somewhere that the movie followed several groups through the evacuation.

    I agree with the view point that any movie falls short if it does not provide a lead in to the events leading up to the evacuation.

    I recently read an interesting account (see below) of the defence of Calais and Boulogne, which shows that the French, British and Belgian defenders might well have been a deciding factor in whether the Germans pushed on to Dunkirk or waited.

    It is interesting to note that on the morning of May 22 the British "Second Irish Guards and Second Welsh Guards infantry battalions had been ferried to Boulogne with orders to defend the port city, along with a battery of two-pound antitank guns and a company of field engineers."

    "The factors behind the Wehrmacht’s decision not to execute a swifter ground assault on Dunkirk remain complicated and highly controversial, and include interservice rivalry in the German military and anxiety over a renewed counterattack at Arras. But if the ragtag defenders of Boulogne and Calais hadn’t put up such a fight, Guderian’s panzers might have swept towards Dunkirk that much faster and could have persuaded von Rundstedt to crush the evacuation point from the ground."


    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/dunkirk-everything-you-need-know-before-you-see-the-movie-21622

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    1. Corrected link
      http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/dunkirk-everything-you-need-know-before-you-see-the-movie-21622

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. Europe--The Taitai and I just completed a 2d tour over there. So, now for war, patriotism, Brexit, EU, etc.

    I probably won't see _Dunkirk_. I've developed a very jaundiced view of Hollywood over the years, and might just get penny wise (if pound foolish) over this one.

    However, re the crisis of the EU, it would be a pity to throw out the baby of European cooperation and peace along with the bathwater of over-bureaucratization and an elite blindness to the nastiness that is Islam. But, could it be possible that a world of mutually respectful patriotic peoples might be a worthwhile vision?

    Regions like Alsace, the whole of the Benelux, and probably many people have a real interest in an institutionalized Franco-German reconciliation and peace. That was probably why our policymakers supported European integration over the years (did they want another generation of young Americans suffering to end another European war?).

    I'll also recall something that struck me last year, in southern Italy. In the Catania airport, I saw a squad of soldiers in desert camo with their duffle bags making their way through the airport. My initial thought was that they were a bunch of Midwestern kids, until I considered that all of them were white. Coming alongside, I noted their Bundeswehr patches and that they were chatting among themselves in German. It struck me that not too long ago, my uncles and their grandfathers were probably trying to kill each other on the same patch of ground.

    True, the Eurocrat elite probably has to go, with Brexit and the showing of the French FN as important symptoms of dissatisfaction. Those Europeans who would like to kick them out strike me as willing to accept an immigration that will assimilate; and it is striking that Europe's new wave of anti-Semitism seems fueled by Muslims who won't and Leftists who will never forgive Israel for having become a Cold War ally of the USA. But, at the same time, something must be done to ensure that a Europe of national states/regions/whatever find a way to build on what the postwar move towards European integration began.

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  30. I reluctantly sympathize with Hollywood in their efforts to play the balancing act of truth and entertainment. After all, the studios are their to make money. If I were an investor, I certainly would insist on it, wouldn't you? In any event, a WW2 historic movie is particularly difficult to sell to the public these days, given the rapidly changing audience, made up of mostly next generation softies, who would rather go see an animated flic of little yellow creatures. I went to see Dunkirk last night and noted that virtually every man in the theater had either gray hair or no hair. Average age of the entire audience, I would estimate, was 55+. Perhaps not surprising, especially after watching this:

    https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2016-05/18/13/enhanced/buzzfeed-prod-web15/anigif_enhanced-17349-1463593153-7.gif?downsize=715:*&output-format=auto&output-quality=auto

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  31. Just saw the movie last night.
    Sorry...waste of time.
    Yes, some good photography, but that's the end of it.
    I just don't enjoy this "stream of consciousness" method of telling a story, in which time and place are confabulated and mixed up. It just reeks of artsy-fartsy to me.

    One of my daughters thought it was the best movie she'd seen in years -- but it turns out she is simply a fan of the director, who as far as I can tell is mostly famous for making BatMan movies.

    I think it is another example of the present generations' inability to separate fantasy from reality or history.

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  32. Would be interested in your comments here,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/opinion/sunday/trump-tillerson-state-department-diplomats.html

    and here.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267463/state-department-officials-quitting-over-complete-robert-spencer

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    1. Sounds like good news! The last couple of decades of "expertise" are not impressive.

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  33. Kind of thought the film was narrowly focused on a few events, tragic as they were, and failed to capture the overall enormity of the event and what it meant.

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  34. There are a number of actual surviving boats from the civilian fleet used in that evacuation. Some of them participate in yearly commemorations of that desperate enterprise, leaving from the original ports in ragged fleets to venture to France.

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  35. All war films, given the scope of the action (and its consequences) have to focus on a few to bring the detail home, otherwise we are watching a documentary. My wife's grandfather was killed on the beaches of Dunkirk (and by coincidence my wife's father who was then in the British army was an extra on the beaches in the 1960 version of the movie) but I think it was always going to be hard to get the scale of Operation Dynamo even with computer graphics. Emotion aside, it mostly worked, but then I am English and know something of the events of the time. How it comes across to non-Brits I have no idea.

    Nolan played with timelines which made it unusual (and in my mind, got it seriously wrong showing soldiers struggling against heavy waves trying to get into boat when by the accounts I have read the sea was perfectly calm for the few days of Dunkirk. If you wish to believe these things a coven of witches or suchlike saw Churchill and sad they would do their best to calm the seas, though were less successful with D-Day. I leave it to you to decide if this claim was nonsense or not)

    The film tried to 'balance the books' by showing the army, navy and air force contributions to the day, as well as 'the small ships.' Okay, that gives us a personal frame, even if I found the soldiers in focus less than engaging; a sort of mix of cowardice and bravery from the main character, who sadly I found unremarkable.

    i think the lack of mention of the Germans was deliberate. they were anonymous apart from the aircraft and even the ones at the end were blurred. i took this not to safeguard german sensibilities but to show this was about people -- British, mostly -- and what they faced. Cutting to Hitler's headquarters or showing Churchill rallying morale, etc, would have been a distraction, ultimately. Also, the reasons the Germans paused their armour would have taken too long to explain and slow dup the movie.

    I was happy that Nolan mentioned at the end about the French being taken off the beaches too, and I am very happy this wasn't a modern, muti-culti movie about what if a man of colour and a transgender and a female star of say Harry Potter film had variously flown planes, sailed ships and employed superpowers to fend off the Nazis. But there were women as nurses on the navy ships and I presume they didn't survive either when torpedoes hit.

    It was a 9 out of 10 movie for me when I really wanted a ten. Oh well, you can't have everything.

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  36. Like you, I came away a little disappointed. All vignettes and no story. I gave it a 3/5 (I'd see it again but not this year). I think Churchill would not have been replaced if the bulk of the BEF had been lost. Excellent comment on the PC side of the movie. I suspect "Fucking Jerry" would have been a more likely moniker than "the enemy"..! Tally ho. Nice blog. I'll be back: you write on topics I feel in my gut. Stewart

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