As I watched this film, many words from
'The Charge of The Light Brigade'
came to mind ... 'All into the Valley of Death'
'... into the mouth of Hell...'
ARE THEY MERELY 'CANNON-FODDER'
And we certainly don't want their Lives to be 'IN VAIN' do we?
Review of Documentary
© - Tom Hyland - 3/6/11
Documentary about the War in Afghanistan - Sebastian Junger, author of ‘The Perfect Storm’ and photographer, Tim Hetherington, spent a year (15 months - 2007-2008) embedded with Battle Company, 173rd Airborne, Second Platoon, in Kerengal, one of the most strategic valleys over there. It was a Best Documentary Winner at Sundance.
As a Documentary, it is excellent, in showing both the Realism and the Surrealism of Warfare. The title is the Surname of one of the Fallen Warriors, and the Outpost was re-named to it, in his Honor.
As an American with an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army, who never saw any action, I was abhorred by the utter Futility of this Stupid War. Young American Patriots, sacrificing their: Arms, Legs, Bodies, Lives, Minds - for WHAT?
The ‘Crap’ that they are fed, is that they are providing Security, supposedly so a Stupid Road can be continued to be built, to supposedly Improve the lives of the Local Inhabitants! What a CROCK!
At a vantage point, high on a hill, over-looking a valley below, these Brave Men lived in Squalor - no Electricity, no Running Water, no Toilets, no Amenities whatsoever - this, was their ‘Quiet Time’ - when they were not sent out on Patrols, to get shot at! And Who was doing the Shooting? Most of the time, the very same ‘Locals’ who came to meetings in their tribal robes, to get ‘Hand-Outs’ like Rice, and other ‘Freebies.’
The ‘Locals’ live on Mountainsides in Hovels, or Hutches, with the exact same amenities the soldiers have - NOTHING! In one particular scene, the locals wanted restitution for a Cow that was killed. It supposedly got caught in a barbed wire fence, and was killed so it would not suffer. It was Slaughtered, butchered, cooked, and Eaten by the Unit! They wanted 20,000 ‘whatevers’ which equals about $400-500 American dollars, but the answer from the upper echelon of Command was - NO Money - just the weight of the cow in Rice, Beans, whatever!
That simple answer alone, should tell anyone just how much the American Government really Cares about the Local Inhabitants of Afghanistan!
We’re over there to make THEIR lives Better! SURE!
If you watch this film, be sure to watch the Special Features, especially the individual Interviews with the young soldiers, as well as What they are doing Now! Most ‘Re-Upped’ and are still in the Army, several back in Afghanistan, and only One admitted that he sought Psychiatric treatment!
If you can’t see a common thread of PTSD here, something is Wrong with you!
As I watched the story unfold, I could not help but wonder ...
WHAT IF - Obama and his Cabinet were Substituted Here - in place of these Young Americans ... or Maybe a Congressional Oversight Committee also ...
BET THIS STUPID WAR WOULD BE ENDED PRONTO!
Like Viet Nam, I also wonder:
JUST WHO IS MAKING MONEY ON ALL THE ‘DOPE’ THAT IS SNUCK OUT?
© - TKH.