Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty || No Apologies

1000 BCE Islamic Sculpture


George Bush and Dick Cheney established a dedicated program of torture of suspected 9-11 terrorists. The torture part of the film Zero Dark 30 calls out this policy and practice. It was very active as the first phase of the hunt for the Bin Laden leadership, and in that respect it seems inaccurate…..(they DID use torture to find bin laden, even though the final piece of information came from elsewhere, seems the point, and they used a lot of it. They were showing that torture was used to look for him, to find him). The characters introduced in the torture scene opening included a principle character who was there every day until he job was finished. Pay attention. 

The film was about a process, the process: It was the process of finding OSL that is described.  I did not see the film say any one point was emphasized over another….including conflicts, dead ends, mistakes and the endurance of the central team in their efforts day after day to find OSL.

That it was a woman in particular, and several women otherwise who were present on the first and last day of of the hunt for OBL, is noteworthy. It is impressive.

Bush and Cheney missed OBL several times through just being stupid and incompetent…and just plain not ready.

Afghanistan is the looming shadow where all these sins come and go, arise and depart. No one in thousands of years have been able to become the friends of the old men who rule Afghanistan, the rapid and putrid old Islamist chiefs of that country. Their religion is their rage and rejection of reason, progress, change or equality for their women.

In particular their disrespect for their women, for all women.

There may be a woman’s story embedded in this war event Hollywood movie. I liked it, recommend it.

As a Vietnam veteran, I was impressed with the soldier gear. Their nice vests and other equipment. When I was a soldier in the bamboo forests of Vietnam, I just had a rifle and the cotton clothes on my back, and a metal helmet. They gave us clothes and a gun and that was it. 

The whole affair brings up so many issues. As citizens were are so poorly informed. The political right knows how to keep up fevered conversations on meaningless partisan tax and spend issues while the real deeds of our soldiers and their managers is largely invisible these days…and often executed by machines from desks in the American desert.

I recently read “The Generals”. You should read this book. There is even an ebook version. And “Drift” by Rachael Maddow.

Zero Dark 30 was also the artistic work of a woman director…a woman very interested in what the United States is doing in the Middle East. I hope she keeps it up.

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