THE MUDDLED EAST
As a kid growing up during the 60s I remember watching the student protests and alongside of the actual footage of the War in Vietnam on TV. I can recall seeing John Wayne's movie The Green Berets (68) which was a WW2 style treatment of Vietnam and probably the only big Hollywood release that endorsed the American involvement in Vietnam... until Mel Gibson's We Were Soldiers (02).
By the time I had reached my Teens in the 70s, Vietnam War movies started dominating the movie world.
Who could forget the first time that you saw The Deer Hunter & Coming Home (78) Apocalypse Now (79) all of which were incredibly disturbing...
as were the next batch in the 80s, Platoon (86), Gardens Of Stone, The Hanoi Hilton, Good Morning Vietnam, Hamburger Hill and Full Metal Jacket (87 what a year eh?) Casualties Of War (89)..
and into the 90s with Jacob's Ladder (90).
I also include JFK (92) because Kennedy was apparently considering withdrawing the advisors from Vietnam and the Military Industrial Complex would lose Billion$ if that happened.
One of the running themes throughout the "Nam" movies was that conventional military strategy could not defeat guerilla insurgents on their home turf. Everyone understood that the Vietnam War could have been over in one hour and nobody, especially the grunts, could ever understand why they weren't allowed to win. One H-Bomb on Hanoi...done.
Remember X's (Donald Sutherland) cryptic speech in JFK (92)?
"The organizing principle of any society, Mr. Garrison, is for war. The authority of the state over its people resides in its war powers. Kennedy wanted to end the Cold War in his second term. He wanted to call off the moon race and cooperate with the Soviets. He signed a treaty to ban nuclear testing. He refused to invade Cuba in 1962.
He set out to withdraw from Vietnam.
As early as 1961, they knew Kennedy was not going to go to war in South-East Asia. Like Caesar, he is surrounded by enemies, and something's underway, but it has no face, yet everybody in the loop knows.
But all that ended on the 22nd of November, 1963."
The Americans began putting boots on the ground in 65.
This past weekend Afghan villagers falsely accused the Canadian Armed Forces of killing children during a missile practice..the children were actually killed by Taliban explosives that the children had tragically mistaken for scrap metal.
Canadian Prime Minister Harper lamented, "Frankly we are not going to ever that defeat the insurgency." It's right HERE . Then U.S. President Obama, who is pulling the troops pout of Iraqistan in 18 months, announced that he is deploying 17,000 more American soldiers to Afghanistan. He conceded that Afghanistan cannot be won "solely through military means."
Aside from rebuilding the Afghan Government and Economy, a full scale attack on the Taliban and Al-Quaida would need to be launched in the western part of Pakistan.. which the enemy openly controls and just signed a truce with the government of Pakistan..hello!
Unfortunately I believe that most people in the West would agree with the sweeping generalisation of the people in the Muddled East that Matt Damon's character expressed in Syriana.
"We think a hundred years ago you were living out here in tents in the desert chopping each others heads off, and that's exactly where you're gonna be in another hundred."
What's interesting is that the movies that are being made about the recent and ongoing Wars (both the declared and clandestine varieties) in the Middle East are already expressing the futility of a military exercise and openly discussing the political charade about it being a rescue operation, and not about Petrodollars, Religio-Political animosity, and playing Chicken in a quickly thawing Neo-Cold War.
Isn't this all still part of the post 911 Rumsfeldian notion that the best Defense is a good Offense that was handcuffed to Vice President Cheney's Halliburton connection? My sense is that the West has reached it's tolerance level for this part of the world and would gladly abandon it as a completely hopeless cause...
in a heartbeat.
My guess is that Africa, which seems to be degenerating every day, will not get to be rescued next because there isn't enough Oil to make it worthwhile. Africa is also seen as one disaster after another that hasn't made much progress despite 60 years of foreign aid. Who knows, The West may actually be finished rescuing foreigners from themselves?
Here is my list of movies about the Muddled East.
The Kingdom (2007)
Lions for Lambs (2007)
Body of Lies (2008)
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
Charlie Wilson's War (2007)
Three Kings (1999)
Courage Under Fire (1996)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Do any of you honestly expect to see a single country adopt a Democratic form of Governement in the Middle East in your lifetime? They only have about 80 years worth of Oil reserves left.