Black Hawk Down

Eversmann: Josh Hartnett
Grimes: Ewan McGregor
McKnight: Tom Sizemore
Hoot: Eric Bana
Sanderson: William Fichtner
Garrison: Sam Shepard
Columbia Pictures presents a film directed by Ridley Scott. Written by Ken Nolan and Steve Zaillian. Based on the book by Mark Bowden. Running time: 143 minutes. Rating (R) for intense, realistic, graphic war violence, and for language).

Central Theme
War is hell. Poorly planned and unfocused missions are a deeper grade of hell. Heroic efforts and an unparalleled camaraderie of brave soldiers are a legacy of even poorly conceived and executed battles

In 1992 outgoing President George H.W. Bush sent American troops into war-torn Somalia in what was intended to be a humanitarian mission to help feed starving people. In 1993 President Clinton expanded the mission to include ƒ¬nation buildingƒ® but efforts were hindered by Farrah Aidid, leader of one of the nationƒ­s powerful warring clans. After the Somalis butchered 24 U.N. peacekeepers, Aidid was declared a war criminal and the U.S. mission in Somalia changed from being a humanitarian effort to a military action.

On October 3, 1993, Army Rangers and members of the elite Delta Force participated in a covert operation in Mogadishu, Somalia that went horribly wrong. Sent to abduct two lieutenants of a vicious Somali warlord, the soldiers found themselves surrounded by hostile militia. Two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down and many men lost their lives. What was to have been a one hour mission stretched to 18 and by the end of the failed mission 70 Americans were wounded and 18 died.

Beliefs num
–War is hell.
–A crisis situation like war reveals what a human is ‘made of.’
–The camaraderie of soldiers in combat is intense and enduring.
–This commitment means ‘no-one should get left behind’
–Soldiers seek personally satisfying explanations for war and their involvement in it and there is no one simple answer.
–War raises irresolvable ethical issues
–As Plato says, ‘only the dead’ see the end of war.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–When is war worth it?
–When should the US get involved? Attacked? Protect humanitarian efforts to feed starving people? Genocidal conditions?
–What is the relationship between the UN and a sovereign nation?
–Ethics of war: do I shoot a child carrying a gun? A mother? In medical emergencies how do I choose who will live and who will die? Do we risk the many to save the one?
–What is a hero?

Provocative Quotes byline
–‘Only the dead have seen the end of War.’
–‘You shouldn’t have come here – this is our war not yours.’
==Somali leader of renegade forces for Aidid to Garrison
–‘300,000 dead and counting. That is not a war it’s genocide’
–‘These people have no food. We can either help them or sit back and watch a country destroy itself on CNN.’
–‘I can’t do it.’ ‘It’s what you do right now that will make the difference.’
==Soldier unwilling to return to battle scene, confronted by superior.
–‘They’ll never understand why we do it. It’s about the men next to you. That’s all it is.’
==Veteran Soldier
–‘No one gets left behind. You know that.’
==The pledge repeated by leaders and troops alike
–‘Nobody wants to be a hero — just sometimes it works out that way.’

Posted in Movies, Staublog in January 18, 2002 by | No Comments »

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