RESTREPO

The movie is out and Americans have ‘tasted’ war in the comfort of their plush seat, air-conditioned theater chairs.  So how was virtual war?

Newspapers had interesting lead titles for their critique of the film:

Restrepo‘ lets viewers observe Afghan war‎ – Tulsa World

Movie Review: ‘Restrepo‘ puts you on front lines of the Afghan war‎ – Florida Times-Union

The Afghan war up close and personalDenver Times

War without context‎ – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This is combat‎ – Honolulu Weekly

Real soldiers: Restrepo movie puts you in war‎ – Sun-Sentinel

Restrepo‘: War documentary a descent into hell | 3 stars‎ – Kansas City Star

A descent into Hell.  That one grabs me.

At the end of the YouTube clip above, the soldier is asked, “How are you going to go back to the civilian world?”  And he answers, “I have no idea!”  He refers to the ‘addiction’ of combat- like a cocaine high.

And society has to ask that same question as these young men and women return from combat- How are you going to absorb back into our society when your tour of duty ends?

We never think about that question as we wave our flags and sing, ‘God bless America’ as our youth are once again sent off to some remote part of the world to fight and die.  We Americans do war easily.  And we seldom think of the long-lasting consequences of that easy action.


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8 thoughts on “RESTREPO

  1. Two nights ago, I was listening to BBC World Radio and there was a program about Puerto Rico. What exactly was the status of Puerto Rico? How did the Puerto Ricans view their relationship to America? Thew most interesting part was an interview with a young kid who in the narrative, had transformed himself from a chubby, non achiever adolescent into a 20 year old man who in the description of the interviewer, was a rock solid disciplined soldier. The young man showed off his closet of uniforms, making a point of explaining how every thing was perfectly pressed and tailored. He did it all himself.
    He went on to excplain that by enlisting in the military, he had changed himself from a self destructive nobody who would, left to his own devices, died from drugs in a few years, into the man who was going to personally lift his family out of poverty and bring tem to the USA.
    It was heartbreaking because he had sold out to a dream that was impossible. It was inspiring because he had actually come this far, but the next question….
    “Are you afraid of going to Afghanistan?” Now that was scary.
    The scary thing was his answer…”NO! I’m ready! I’m looking forward to it!” When I come back I will have rank, status and everyone in my family who isn’t ready to rise with me can stay here.”
    I admire his ambition, his desire to change himself, but the reality?
    I hope the BBC interviews him again, in a few years….

  2. Yesterday, UptheFlag said that Sebastian Junger was on MSNBC and made a comment about what 18 and 19-year-olds think about the Afghanistan War. I cannot find what he said, but I am truly curious what they think as they sign up for the military.

    Down South where UptheFlag lives, there is a totally different mindset about the military and military-duty in general- probably left over from the Civil War [or War of Northern Aggression.] Do these southern boys sign up out of some patriotic ‘duty’ or is it for job security? The answer to this question ought to be sought.

  3. Egads, M_R, you mean I found something on the internet that you can locate. Hmmm, let me see if I can find it again to get when Junger says about the 19 and 20 year olds signing up…But MD has put his finger on it
    with the report on the BBC about the 20 year old soldier from Puerto Rico

  4. Whats the deal with the ad your caring from Google..You have a petition that you want us to sign?

  5. MR, I think it’s more job security than patriotism. Although, it is easy to disguise jingoism as patriotism.

    I think that your point about mentally scarred youth being brought back into civilian life will be scary: especially with the easy access to firearms that US culture has.

    And the lack of proper mental health care.

  6. Laci- spot-on and, yes, scary! Especially because the returning military often do not want or think that they need mental health counselling.

  7. Good question, now, M_R…The ad from google is no longer showing, but it was there yesterday. Did any one else see it?

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