Trump Is Being Dragged For Not Seeming To Know That The Dunkirk Evacuation Was A Great Success

The situation in Afghanistan continues to be febrile, with the Taliban taking over the capital city of Kabul, all but ensuring the nation is theirs. Harrowing images of people desperately trying to be evacuated abound. Who’s to blame? People are pointing fingers everywhere, even those whose hands are dirty. One of them is Donald J. Trump, who absolutely deserves part of the blame. (Then again, he’s also been praising the Taliban.) But he’s been trying to pass the buck anyway, albeit in his usual clumsy way.

On Tuesday, the former president fired off one of his cryptic and chaotically written press statements, revealing his latest take on the tragedy happening on the other side of the globe. It was a mere six words, plus two em dashes: “This could be—Afghanistan—another Dunkirk.”

Ignore, if you can, the sloppy syntax. Did he not realize he could do a second draft and replace “This” with “Afghanistan,” making it not only one word shorter but also clearer? There was a more pressing matter, though, and it was this: He seemed to imply that Afghanistan, where the situation looks dire, could turn into another Dunkirk, which is to say the World War II battle that turned into a mass rescue operation.

But…did he mean that the evacuation of Dunkirk, which saw hundreds of thousands of Allied troops rescued from the French port by all manner of crafts, was not a huge success? Because it was. There was even a very popular movie about it, from a very popular film director, released early into his presidency.

Of course, Trump could have meant this as a rallying cry — that nations and peoples could come together to help evacuate people from Afghanistan, just like in Dunkirk 81 years ago. But that’s not Trump’s style. Trump’s style is belligerence and ridicule and pumping himself up above all, even if it’s upon a hill of lies.

And so people online, as they so often do, dragged Trump for saying something that was either not so smart or so poorly worded that it made him look like an idiot.

Maybe his advisers are confused.

Trump wasn’t the only one in the party he’s called home for the last decade or so to confuse the Dunkirk evacuation with a failure, which, again, it was certainly not.

If it’s a history lesson Trump needs, then Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk currently streams on HBO Max.