Blast from the Past: Dunkirk & the Gulf

Blast From the Past (a daily feature where some bedtime history reading sheds light on a contemporary concern):
“To and fro between the shore and the ships plied the little boats, gathering the men from the beaches as they waded out or picking them from the water, with total indifference to the air bombardment, which often claimed its victims. Their numbers alone defied air attack. The Mosquito Armada as a whole was unsinkable.”
- Winston Churchill, describing the work of the thousands of small boats that aided in the evacuation of Dunkirk. You have to wonder why the fishing fleet of Louisiana has not been similarly employed, armed with whatever vacuums they can get, to help siphon off as much of the spilt oil as possible. Every night, I watch Anderson Cooper chat up Billy Nungasser, the President of Plaquemines Parish outside New Orleans, and in the Gulf waters behind them, there is no evidence of the kind of enormous effort for which the situation called. The President used martial metaphor in his speech from the Oval Office about the Gulf Oil spill, but if this is a war, why have we not done as the Brits did in 1940? Are we to slink off to some modern day Vichy?

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