Dunkirk, Brexit, and Charlie Gard

By John Zmirak Published on July 21, 2017

So I just saw Dunkirk.

For a review of it as a movie, see Jonathan Leaf’s lovely essay over at SCENES. Leaf says: “This is surely the best Hollywood war movie since Master and Commander. It may be an all-time classic.” And that may well be true. The movie immerses you in the concrete details of war, without punishing the viewer (as Saving Private Ryan did) with desensitizing violence. Despite the sparse dialogue and minimal exposition, you come to care about these characters. And you feel like a part of their struggle. It’s exciting, moving, and beautiful to look at. Highly recommended.

What I found myself wondering as I went in was: How will the movie end? Which side really won the war?

The standard historical narrative, of course, is that 400,000 British troops were trapped after France collapsed. The British Navy was far away, and if those troops weren’t rescued, Hitler would have closed in on them, killing or capturing virtually the whole British land force in Europe. Even Churchill might have been forced to give up the fight at that point.

Then Europe would have been ruled by an autocratic empire of atheists, dominated by the Germans. These crass utilitarians would have imposed their regime of euthanasia and secularism on Christians across the Continent. Violent gangs of anti-Semitic young men would have been let loose to terrorize Jews in every country, driving out those lucky enough to flee. A violent warrior creed would replace European humanism.

Hitler Plus Hummus

Of course, such things are happening now. Euthanasia, including of children and unwilling adult patients, is a leading cause of death in the Netherlands and Belgium — the very countries which the British Army at Dunkirk had fought to defend. Unelected commissars of the German-dominated European Union make key laws in secret and impose them on the Continent. Countries that try to resist the EU’s will (like Poland and Hungary) are threatened with crippling sanctions. Dissidents from the EU’s policies on immigration are already being arrested and threatened with jail time. And most of the countries that Britain fought for, including the homeland, have been flooded with Jew-hating adherents of a totalitarian creed. 

I ask with a little bitterness: Which side won the war again?

The movie Dunkirk never mentions the Nazis. It opens with talk only of the “enemy.” I trust that viewers know enough to realize what the stakes were in 1940. But do they know the stakes today?

“Life Unworthy of Life”

I’ve never visited a concentration camp. But I saw a tiny, appalling window into the depths of Nazi evil. I visited Vienna, to pray at the tombs of old Christian, Austrian monarchs. On a side-trip, I went to see the most beautiful church of the 20th century: The Steinhof. It sits on the grounds of a mental hospital on the outskirts of the city. The donors made the hospital beautiful, complete with a lavish chapel, as if to remind the patients that neither God nor the neighbors had forgotten them. I wrote in 2009:

As we left the church, I asked the guide about a plaque I’d seen but couldn’t quite ken, and her face grew suddenly solemn. “That is the next part of the tour.” She explained to me and the group the purpose of the Spiegelgrund Memorial. It stands in the part of the hospital once reserved for what we’d call “exceptional children,” those with mental or physical handicaps. While Austria was a Christian monarchy, such children were taught to busy themselves with crafts and educated as widely as their handicaps permitted. The soul of each, as Franz Josef would freely have admitted, was equal to the emperor’s.

But in 1939, Austria didn’t have an emperor anymore. It dwelt under the democratically elected, hugely popular leader of a regime that justly called itself “socialist.” The ethos that prevailed was a weird mix of romanticism and cold utilitarian calculation, one which shouldn’t be too unfamiliar to us. It worried about the suffering of lebensunwertes Leben, or “life unworthy of life” — a phrase we might as well revive in our democratic country that aborts 90 percent of Down Syndrome children diagnosed in utero.

So the Spiegelgrund was transformed from a rehabilitation center to one that specialized in experimentation. As the Holocaust memorial site Nizkor documents: “In Nazi Austria, parents were encouraged to leave their disabled children in the care of people like [Spiegelgrund director] Dr. Heinrich Gross. If the youngsters had been born with defects, wet their beds, or were Otto_Wagner_Steinhofkirche8deemed unsociable, the neurobiologist killed them and removed their brains for examination. … Children were killed because they stuttered, had a harelip, had eyes too far apart. They died by injection or were left outdoors to freeze or were simply starved. Dr. Gross saved the children’s brains for ‘research.’”

All this, a few hundred feet from [stained glass] windows depicting the Christian Works of Mercy. Of course, they’d been replaced by the works of Modernity.

Killing Charlie Gard

“Life unworthy of life” is almost exactly the phrase that British authorities used when (with European courts’ collusion) they ruled that Charlie Gard must die. That his parents couldn’t use the private funds they had raised to try to save his life. And why? Because he would still be handicapped. So the State thinks him better off dead. And the State decides these things.

So I ask with a little bitterness: Which side won the war again?

An Armada of Tiny Boats and Votes

And then I remember Brexit. Millions of little people launching their lonely votes against Leviathan, like the tiny yachts and fishing boats that dared the English Channel to go to Dunkirk.

I recall those thousands of people around the world who ponied up their own funds to help Charlie Gard and his family fight off the Culture of Death.

I think of the millions of Americans who scoffed at “respectable” opinion, waved off the media, and voted to stop Hillary Clinton — proud recipient of Planned Parenthood’s “Margaret Sanger Award.” Named, you know, for the eugenicist who worked with commanders of concentration camps. A woman whose sterilization laws directly inspired Hitler’s.

“Life unworthy of life” is almost exactly the phrase that British authorities used when they ruled that Charlie Gard must die. Because he would still be handicapped. So the State thinks him better off dead.

We Shall Defend Our Island

And I feel some hope again. I recall the legions of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, and Hungarians who are saying no to the globalists. Of those pastors planting and tending churches all across Europe, in the teeth of secular states and the shadow of Saudi-funded Wahabi megamosques. I whisper to myself the words that close Dunkirk. First spoken by Winston Churchill, in the film they’re read aloud by a brave young veteran of the flotilla that helped save Britain. Churchill might have been speaking to the Brexit voters and Polish voters and Trump voters who even now resist the ethics of a new evil empire:

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

Amen.

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  • Beverly Stevens

    Shared on Regina Magazine at 130 Likes

    • Zmirak

      Thanks so much!

  • mj

    excellent, touching, insightful, encouraging… bless you for writing this piece.

  • stumpc

    So obvious for anyone who is even remotely interested in seeing the truth.

  • Mooshnik

    In light of this week’s Gospel, it would be easy to spot the weeds amongst the wheat in early 1940’s eastern Europe. For the weeds wore jackboots, coal scuttle helmets and oaken leaves on their collars. Now the weeds are dressed as you and I, brainwashed in a more “compassionate” rigor, casually deeming those living who are not worthy of life through mere conversation and the cloak of scholarly wisdom rather than the use of battle maps. The harbingers of death are going to reach and already have levels of extermination that would make any Einsatzgruppen proud. St Michael defend us.

  • thinkingabovemypaygrade

    Britain needs a new Magna Carta…to free the citizens from the absolutist grip and rule…not of a king this time. It’s the State (with the Courts and Hospital as their Agents).

    I suspect the flabby but deadly hand of the Accountant also…in this enlarging kill off of “life unworthy of life” humans.

  • Dean Bruckner

    The story is told that Lord abort, Commanding General of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) surrounded at Dunkirk, sent a three word message to the Secretary of War: “But if not.” For those who don’t recognize this, it’s a quotation from Daniel’s three friends in ancient Babylon, about to be thrown into the fiery furnace. The full quotation is this:

    Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king. Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
    -Daniel chapter 3, verses 13-18 (KJV)

    The British held a day of prayer and fasting, Hitler inexplicably ordered his armies to halt on the perimeter of Dunkirk for several days, and the rest is history. The part that gets left out of these secular accounts is Lord Gort’s faith-based defiance of the edicts of the totalitarians of his day, and God’s merciful deliverance of those who trusted in him.

    But if not, indeed!

    • thinkingabovemypaygrade

      Well said…

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