Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'll admit it

I finally had the opportunity to watch the Hurt Locker this past weekend. Beautifully filmed and expertly paced, I was in awe of how Kathryn Bigelow so delicately built intensity, fear and perfect character development. While the film helped me understand a sliver of the current army culture, I was left with many more questions than answers.

The film ended and I felt angry at my lack of knowledge of this widely ignored war. It seems the only times I'm reminded of our presence abroad is when previews for movies like Brothers or Dear John come on the TV. I’ll speak for myself when I say I know nothing about this war.

I want someone to explain to me what exactly we’re doing there on a daily basis. I don’t mean for this to sound accusatory at all, I truly just want to understand. What do the battles look like? Who exactly are we fighting? What determines a victory? They throw out words like democracy but what does it look like and how is it accomplished? Can someone please tell me?

I’ve been taught to understand the images of WWII and Vietnam- good guys vs. bad guys in trenches, fighting the enemy with guns with bayonets and grenades and those large telephones that are strapped to someone’s back. I don’t understand sandy, desert villages filled with families and small children and roadside bombs activated by cell phones intended for who? My mind cannot yet comprehend this war and it’s been 9 years.

Gone are the days where America would tune in nightly and have the images of war brought into our living rooms- why did the media stop talking about war the way they used and when did we stop listening?

I guess now would be the time where I should put down the metaphoric pen and paper and go do some research to educate myself on what I do not understand.

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