Tag: George Marshall

Is the Movie “Dunkirk” Dumbed Down?

Is the Movie “Dunkirk” Dumbed Down?

Reviews of Christo­pher Nolan’s new film on Dunkirk, which take quite oppo­site points of view.

Dunkirk without Context

Dorothy Rabi­nowitz, in The Wall Street Jour­nal, pro­claims “the dumb­ing down of Dunkirk.” Mr. Nolan, she writes:

…con­sid­ers Dunkirk “a uni­ver­sal story…about com­mu­nal hero­ism.” Which explains why this is—despite its impres­sive cin­e­matog­ra­phy, its mov­ing por­trait of suf­fer­ing troops and their rescuers—a Dunkirk flat­tened out, dis­con­nect­ed from the spir­it of its time, from any sense even of the par­tic­u­lar mighty ene­my with which Eng­land was at war.

When an event in his­to­ry has become, in the mind of a writer, “uni­ver­sal” it’s a tip-off.…

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Churchill, Obama, and the Sacking of Generals

Churchill, Obama, and the Sacking of Generals

“It is dif­fi­cult to remove a bad Gen­er­al at the height of a cam­paign: it is atro­cious to remove a good Gen­er­al.” —Churchill

Oba­ma and McChrys­tal (White House pho­to by Pete Souza, Wiki­me­dia Com­mons).

What can we learn by com­par­ing Pres­i­dent Obama’s dis­missal of Gen­er­al McChrys­tal to Churchill’s dis­missals of Gen­er­als Wavell and Auchin­leck, two dis­tin­guished com­man­ders in World War II? I hope it will not be anoth­er reminder of how stan­dards of con­duct have dete­ri­o­rat­ed.

Dif­fer­ences first. Churchill’s gen­er­als were removed for not suf­fi­cient­ly oppos­ing Irwin Rommel’s Afri­ka Korps. McChrys­tal was not under­per­form­ing, and his sit­u­a­tion bears more resem­blance to that of Gen­er­al Dou­glas MacArthur, the Kore­an com­man­der relieved in 1951 by Pres­i­dent Tru­man for insub­or­di­na­tion.…

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