I watched it on the National Geographic channel last night and thought, as I fought back nausea over what these young men were experiencing, that this film was the best depiction of the angst, the horror, the gut wrenching fear and the anger that is war. Without seeing a drop of blood shed. The part of the war that produced it's only living Medal of Honor winner.
The macho personas the young soldiers displayed as they were deployed soon disappeared as the reality of what they were to endure set in. Trying to convince village elders they were "good" guys. People with a language barrier and unbelievable cultural barriers. People who knew their lives were precarious at best from both sides of the fight. A knowledge shared by our soldiers. There was no safe side between the villagers and the Taliban. Who might be a good guy? I watched the faces of the elders as they listened to explanations by the American Captain. There was contempt, there was scepticism, there was cunning and hatred. Not an actor in the world is skilled enough to play either the Afghanistans nor the Americans.
If you want to know what the American GI feels, watch this film. Then follow the links to the entire production. Men who have been to war understand it all. Those of us who haven't don't even begin to, though maybe I now have an inkling. It's hard to watch. It's hard to watch them remember, it's hard to know it will always be a part of them, a part that will never totally heal. It will be a part of their families and friends and ultimately it will be a part of the fabric of our nation. It's good these men are like rugged denim rather than satin or silk.
I thought for a time that the day would come when we'd no longer have men seeking high office that had military experience. Iraq and Afghanistan have changed that. Now I will find it difficult to vote for one who lacks that experience. That experience that remembers the repulsiveness of war totally outweighs it's glory.