Friday, August 31, 2007

Hollywood’s hit piece “Redacted”.

The left knows no shame. Director Brian De Palma in his new movie “Redacted” is trying to convince the American people that our soldiers aren’t good enough to make good sound decisions when the pressure mounts and when things are tough and mistakes are made our troops might resort to raping little girls and murdering families. Well, Mr. De Palma, I agree... to a point.

WHAT!

That is right. I have a news flash for all of us. Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors are men and women just like me and you. And if we can have 30 plus kids killed on the campus of Virginia Tech or 180 plus killed in Oklahoma or an 11 year old girl kidnapped raped killed and buried under a porch in Florida or two people cruising up and down Maryland and Virginia interstates shooting citizens at random then we can certainly expect that out of the over 1.4 million people serving in our armed forces some of them could be capable of the horrors that happened in Mahmudiya Iraq.

In case you don’t know, a group of five US soldiers raped a young girl and murdered her family. They confessed and have been sentenced. “Redacted” is about this incident. Between this and Abu Grab American service personnel have made the job of securing Iraq infinitely harder. And, by doing such have put more lives in danger. The people who committed this war crime deserve death. Instead they got lengthy prison sentences.

So how can I say that our service men and women might commit atrocities and war crimes? Well, because it’s true. While our service folks might be brave heroes as a whole, and often individually, they are also just like you and I -susceptible to the same dysfunctions, neurosis and abnormalities that all of us are apt to suffer from time to time. There is no reason to assume that the armed services can weed out every person prone to “crazy”.

Where Mr. De Palma and I differ is that I don’t think a dramatization of these events helps in the least. I don’t think showing a movie about the worst our country has to offer is fair. I don’t think it is timely. I don’t think it is necessary. I don’t think it helps one bit. Mr. De Palma is quoted as saying "The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people." This movie is not an accurate portrayal of what goes on in Iraq. I have not seen the movie. Yet I can still with confidence say that a 90 minute or 5 hour movie can not do justice to “…what is happening in Iraq.” The shear arrogance of this man infuriates me. I have studied Iraq now for over three years and I can only just begin to grasp the intricacies of this conflict. To boil it down into a movie and suggest that it is in any way representative of our troop’s efforts over there is foolish.

This left wing idiot is doing grave damage to his country. The worst part is that the very troops he demonizes are the ones fighting to protect his right to make this hit piece on America. His arrogance is a product of his being removed from the actual fight. If Islamic extremists were imposing Sharia law in his pretty neighborhood, how long do you think it would take Brian De Palma to change his tune? Mr. De Palma the very reason this is news, the very reason this was in the spot light, the very reason that you might make two cents off the blood of Iraqis and Americans is that behavior like that of these murderous soldiers is rare. The vast majority of our service men and women are professional and effective. What is “happening in Iraq” is not murder and war crimes it is the work of quiet professionals giving their lives so that you have a safe environment to create counter productive “art”.

4 comments:

Bob Boldt said...

I was opposed to this war long before it was announced. Nearly every prediction I made concerning the subsequent results of the Iraqi war have been born out - in full. Lest you think liberal Democratic partisanship plays even the smallest role in my critique of our incursion in Iraq, I was also one of the first to oppose a Democratic president - Johnson, when he announced our Vietnam War via the Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

Pro war blog reactions to Brian De Palma’s film have been as vitriolic as can be expected toward anyone right or left who is critical of the legality, the goals or the means involved in the “pacifying” of Iraq. Their prevailing view remains firmly wedded to the unshakable position that what our soldiers are doing in Iraq (as they did in Vietnam) “is not murder and war crimes it is the work of quiet professionals giving their lives so that you have a safe environment to create counter productive “art”.

If I am willing to grant your dubious assumption that ninety-five percent of our incursionary forces bear no more guilt for war crimes than did the soldiers in Vietnam or the German foot soldiers “…just following orders”, who remains to be criticized for their actions and their participation in this latest war?

In a similar way that no one in the anti-Vietnam war movement blamed the soldier for that war, (No case has ever come to light of any of us ever spitting on a soldier, as has been widely reported in the urban myth department) so too the Americans who “serve” in Iraq and Afghanistan are actually to be pitied, certainly not ever to be in any way admired. They are perhaps the most pathetic victims, their suffering, their injuries and their deaths should be a distant second in our hearts to the nearly million innocent Iraqis they have been directly and indirectly responsible for killing.

These brightest and best of our youth have suffered a four part betrayal: 1]lied to by recruiters 2] understaffed, over deployed and propagandized shamelessly during their tour(s) 3] cheated in the medical treatment they are entitled to after they have been used up by this war. 4] and perhaps the worst betrayal of all: not being discouraged nearly enough by brain dead parents, public and press from being forever mentally and morally stained by participation in one of the most illegal and immortal enterprises since Hitler attempt to dominate the world.

I am not saying this because of any partisan interest. I am saying this solely because I am a human being who is watching helpless as his economy, his constitution and his respect for human life is being daily disregarded by ninety five percent of our elected hypocrites who would presume to teach us the lessons of patriotism, ethics and faith.

Bob Boldt
Jefferson City, MO

PS
“To boil it down into a movie and suggest that it is in any way representative of our troop’s efforts over there is foolish.”

Sir, this “boiling down” is the essence of all art, including art you might happen to agree with.

Benjamin Cook said...

Bob! Thanks so much for the comment. Isn't blogging great! What stars would have had to a line for you and I to have this conversation pre-blog?

I am not surprised that you "opposed to this war long before it was announced" your comment drips with confirmation bias rather than well founded facts.

"Vitriolic" I love that word. I am not sure what it means but I bet it's bad.

"Americans who “serve” in Iraq and Afghanistan are actually to be pitied, certainly not ever to be in any way admired. They are perhaps the most pathetic victims, their suffering, their injuries and their deaths should be a distant second in our hearts to the nearly million innocent Iraqis they have been directly and indirectly responsible for killing."

Your true colors are vivid my friend. Thanks for posting.

What you and Brian refuse to see is that we don't live in the world you think we do. This long and necessary conflict/war/engagement is vital to Western security. That's right. Not just National security. The hard work and sacrifice that is necessary will help stabilize a region that can not do it on its on in a reasonable time frame.

I recognize that the Iraq war has been poorly executed and planned. I recognize the glaring mistakes. But this is war. Not football. To punt now is to lose the game/war.

Rolling into an area like the Middle East armed with only soft power is useless. The US was at a major deficit of soft power in that region before it went in. For decades the Middle East has been playing itself the victim. Mostly because ME leaders want to deflect their own massive short comings onto the West. It is a classic scenario. There is hope for better use of Soft Power in the region and terrorism will never be defeated until the world understands the usefulness of soft power and public dipomacy. In the mean time movies like Brian's work to lessen our soft power.

Thanks for posting but you really don't have any Idea what you are talking about. Nor do I expect someone who opposed the war before it started to understand. Your anger at yourself and America runs too deep.

B.

Bob Boldt said...

Benjamin,
Thanks for what was(with a couple of exceptions) a surprisingly civil and reasoned response to my post. I feel you are a guy I might be able to actually sit and have a beer with and talk the thing out. You made some good points and, were we in that bar, an hour or two might bring us even closer together. But time is short and I think our biggest disagreement may be in differing paradigms (don’t you just hate that word). And of course those are the hardest things to overcome.

Peace,

Bob

Benjamin Cook said...

Well one day maybe we can have that beer! Thanks again for posting.