Fiskus Interrutpus

Maureen Dowd:

The Bush foreign policy team always had contempt for Bill Clinton’s herky-jerky, improvised interventions around the world. When it took control, it promised a global stewardship purring with gravity, finesse and farsightedness.

But now the Bush “dream team” is making the impetuous Clinton look like Rommel.


I’m guessing here that MoDo means German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

Rommel gained fame in World War II, first his daring drive into France in 1940 as a Panzer division commander, then for chasing the Brits back into Egypt as far as Tobruk, as head of the Afrika Corps. Later, his “successes” included the Atlantic Wall, which was to have stopped our D-Day invasion at the beaches, and minor participation in the failed bombing attempt on Hitler’s life that same year.

In what sense, exactly, is Dowd comparing Team Bush to Rommel? Politically, Rommel was a non-entity. His only foray into politics was the abovementioned attack on Hitler. Otherwise, he was simply a good soldier, tackling the mission assigned to him by his superiors.

Or does Dowd mean to compare the Administration poorly with Rommel’s military “decisiveness”? While this might stir up a hornet’s nest in the Drinks section with my brother and sister history freaks, I’ll go right on and say the Rommel was overrated as a military commander, at least once he was promoted to his third star (or whatever the Nazi equivalent was).


As chief of the Afrika Corps, Rommel scored only two big wins. He made it further into Egypt than Mussolini ever did, but that’s not saying much. He was stopped cold at Tobruk by Montgomery’s Desert Rats


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