Restrepo: Gratuitous PTSD from Afghan Hamburger Hill
Troops ream Afghan elders,
“Stop Taliban-money kills!"
OUR soldiers kill, why?
We never find out from this movie. We never hear any of them ask, either.
Fly-on-the-wall, or rather, on-the-craggy-rock-surface reality.
I appreciated this film. The filmmakers risked their lives, the same way the soldiers were risking theirs. I can understand the risk, admittedly monstrously awesome, the movie makers took for their art. As for the soldiers risking their lives over there? I have more trouble fathoming the soldiers’ risk (aside from authoritarian-following, trapped within the military matrix, betrayed by the ruling class rat bastards of the United States reasons. Excuse my French.)
Dropped into an insane, PTSD-creating environment, not for a minute but for 15 long months for the soldiers. A psyche-altering, along with possibly, even probably, life-ending, predicament. (One soldier said into the camera early on, “I’m gonna die here!”)
If you manage to escape with your life, what has it done to your sanity?
To kill Taliban soldiers in this particular war zone. This is counter-insurgency warfare. To win the hearts and minds of the citizens of the invaded countries? Why would the U.S. possibly think it could do that with its amoral corporate agenda?
The U.S. is losing the hearts and minds of its own people, I mean here in the U.S. Why does it think it can win the hearts and minds of a foreign country it is devastating out of its addiction to imperialism and greed?
The U.S., its ruling elite, imho, has lost its collective mind. It lost its morality long ago.
Why are we over there? If you think it is for American self-defense, raise your hands? No one.
If you think it is for helping the Afghan people, raise your hands? No one.
If you think it is because it is an illegal war to gain land and oil, to break the hearts and minds of a people in order to exploit their resources, you get a big fat Pentagon gold star.
If you think it is also about the American collective ego, at least the ego of the political and military ruling class, that even though the war(s) were illegally and incompetently waged and fought, WE must score a WIN to save face (though this President was too easily corrupted to embrace the opportunity he had to NOT assume responsibility for these amoral wars and bring them to a sane close which was the mandate of the people he was elected by) you are right.
The chickenhawks (you know, like the Thomas Friedmans among so very many) far from the threat of death, bloviating all over the soundstages of Meet the Press, etc., must bullshit on with the audacity to make more young soldiers gratuitously end their lives or be psychologically traumatized probably forever by being threatened by or killing others.
These same chickenhawks doom those (apparently even more expendable than the soldiers in their colossal hubris) heart-breaking (to non-Americans, anyway) legions of citizens of our invaded/occupied countries to death or devastation.
18 American soldiers on average commit suicide every day one poll reports. American heirarchy apparently not heeding such a tragic message sent. Like an addict parent, who can’t give a sh*t about his or her insanely-in-pain child. MASSIVE NEGLECT!!! Young adult soldiers and those foreigners (who really aren’t, they are the actual residents over there, the Americans are the foreigners, but the soldiers on screen were existing in a narcissistic bubble as are most likely the vast majority of the American audience watching the movie) are expendable to power and control addicts. The patriarchy. The dysfunctional and deadly American patriarchy. Willing to sacrifice anyone, anywhere, any time. Except for members of its own tiny gated crony-community. Like, for one example, the millionaires' club a/k/a the U.S. Senate. Ends justifies the means, right? And the ends are the payoffs for their own hubris, power-hunger and greed. Oh yeah, and job security. God forbid a Congress person exercised integrity and lost his or her lobby nest eggs to actually fulfill the oath of office he or she originally took.
Within this movie, male bonding in the face of death? Yes. Soldiers performing their deadly duties, motivated solely by the instinct to keep themselves and their buddies alive? Yes.
50 soldiers lost their lives securing this “death valley” which, after this company’s deployment, was soon lost to the Taliban once again.
Ever see the movie Ground Hog Day? This was the PTSD version.
How many oldsters, women and children were killed in their crazymaking assignment of tracking down the mysterious specters of Taliban and Taliban-hired fighters? Five that we saw on-screen for a second. Undoubtedly many more. That was not the focus of the film, but if you have a shred of conscience the question would haunt you as well as the plight of the soldiers.
Watching the young soldiers insist to the Afghan elders that they were their allies. When alliance with the troops was a death sentence from the Taliban for the villagers. Hello? What were the soldiers seriously offering them? Not security. A future? A present? Lose/lose scenarios the consequences faced not by the “deciders” of such surreal scenarios but by their victims all around.
Watching the young soldiers try to convince the elders how wronged the troops were being, threatened by villagers paid by the Taliban, and paid, by the way, not well and not respectfully, to fight against the Americans.
Did the soldiers never ask themselves what they were soldiering there against the Taliban and Afghan resisters for? Was their role, paid by the rat bastard corporatist-cronied political and military ruling class using citizens' tax dollars, more legitimate, righteous and superior?
The troops knew or learned when they got there they were not there for American self-defense. The troops knew or learned when they got there they were not seriously there to help the Afghan people.
They were living avatars in a most dangerous game for the rat bastard U.S. military and political elite!
Excuse my French.