Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Real Face of War

Though I have not seen the movie Restrepo I found this article at AlterNet very interesting. In it, Nick Turse speaks about the fallacy behind the movie which follows an American battalion in the remote areas of Afghanistan. The movie has apparently garnered accolades for showing the "real face of war".

Turse wonders how it can be the real face of war when the people most affected, the Afghan citizens, are not interviewed. Turse describes the Americans as "combat tourists" because, despite the fact that many come from low income American families where joining the army appeared to be their only choice, they, unlike the Afghans, have choices. The Afghan citizens have no choice. The Americans have brought war to their doorstep on a daily basis, relentless and without mercy.

Turse writes:
In the opening scenes, shot from an armored vehicle (before an improvised explosive device halts a U.S. Army convoy), we catch sight of Afghan families in a village. When the camera pans across the Korengal Valley, we see simple homes on the hillsides. When men from Battle Company head to a house they targeted for an air strike and see dead locals and wounded children, when we see grainy footage of a farm family or watch a young lieutenant, a foreigner in a foreign land, intimidating and interrogating an even younger goat herder (whose hands he deems to be too clean to really belong to a goat herder) -- here is the real war. And here are the people Junger and Hetherington should have embedded with if they wanted to learn -- and wanted to teach us -- what American war is really all about.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They should have also interviewed Gen Stanley McChrystal. The Gen can speak his mind without the shackles of political correctness...