Michael and this young guy that I lnow from Church go to see The Hurt Locker. Really a good movie, lots of subtleness as relates to the Iraq war. And, the first modern day war movie which is all about soldiers as opposed to these subtle or not so subtle sidebars. There was a little of it but not much. And, even had some Brits in it. The movie has been nominated for a couple of Golden Globes, I think (didn’t win). Since I have been totally opposed to the Iraq war and think that increasing troops in Afghanistan is “one” stupid thing the president has done, seeing a movie like this is very painful. Anyway, Michael joins Eric and me. We leave the movie and go to discuss it. Eric is maybe 28, never had a job, has been in school all his life. Michael savages poor Eric who takes it good naturely. Melnekoff is incorrigible. Where is Larry with a few MFs when you need him.
The movie shows some of the intracacies of a soldier’s life in Iraq like we have not seen in other movies, i. e., how he lives in Iraq. On the surface not a bad life, nice living quarters as opposed to sleeping on the ground like Vietnam. Calling home, email, good food. But, then, he gets up in the morning and goes off to war where he is confronted with danger around every corner; a hostile civilian population that wants to kill him. It is a type of environment that would have to get to the psyche of the most emotionally sophisticated person and we can just imagine what it does to a young soldier who is not emotionally sophisticated. What we are doing to this small percentage of our soldiers is criminal.
I am often absolutely amazed at how the potential for the military to be broken exists and yet the institution soldiers on. It Is somewhat like the military found itself at the end of Vietnam: drug use was rampant, racism was bigtime problem and to look at it, we would say, “how can the military make it?” They do somehow and soldier on.
There were a few things in the movie which might be questionable. The three guys of the bomb disposable unit had the three prototypes of combat soldiers: a crazy, a very rational type and one like a “deer caught in the headlights.” The movie, meaning the director, was very clever. In using the rotational dates of the 3 person team to introduce the action, it kept you on the edge of your seat. This can’t be understood unless you actually see the movie.
And a last thing that was evident to me or that I believe: the movie presented soldiers as being very aggressive in pursuing the enemy. I don’t think so. Soldiers grasp quickly what they are dealing with and subtlely adjust. Ok, go out on patrol and make it through the day. Not go out on patrol and pursue suspicious activity and chase the enemy. Nobody talks about this but if it is a questional situation that might get you killed, ignore it. The Marines appear to be more aggressive though and Special Operations soldiers who are older seem to treat war in more or less as a bigger strategy. I think. Anyway, very good movie. I doubt you are still with me here but a very good movie. Amen.