10 Movie Evaluation 2 - Chad K. Bush Jared Hegwood English...

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Chad K. Bush Jared Hegwood English 101 20 December 2005 The End of War? Plato once said that only the dead have seen the end of war. This statement opens the film Black Hawk Down (2001) and sets the stage for its messages that come through its compelling exploration of the justification for war and its examination of the creation of heroes. The movie recounts the U.S. military operation on October 3 and 4, 1993 in the Black Sea district of Mogadishu, Somalia. Initially, the operation was to last less than an hour, but that plan went terribly awry. The 30-minute operation soon stretched into a 2-day eternity rife with needless violence and death. The operation’s main objective was to free up a food supply that had been kept from the Somali people by warlord Mohamed Farrah Aldid. This objective was to be accomplished by taking hostage the Somalis who held the food captive. The film’s underlying current beats with unanswered questions: Was the mission doomed to failure before it even began? Did the nation’s leaders truly count the cost when they chose to execute the operation? What was the true motivation of the U.S. Soldiers? Were the soldiers driven by a true desire to aid the Somali civilians or was their motivation nothing more than the desire to kill that stems from the mentality of war that he who kills most is the biggest hero? Before the fight ever began, the operation seemed set for disaster for a number of reasons. Members of two different military cliques – the Army Special Forces unit Delta Force and the Army Rangers – were unable to work together. This disharmony between fighting squadrons is evidenced at the beginning of the film when Army Ranger Captain Mike Steele said 1
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during a dinner to a Delta Sergeant, “You Delta boys are a bunch of undisciplined cannibals.” The constant bickering between the two groups is seen throughout the film, even during the fighting. The very fact that the U.S. was meddling in the affairs of a civil war in a third world country contributed to the mission’s demise. In a conversation between Somali prisoner of war, Atto, and General Garrison, Atto said, “You shouldn't have come here. This is a civil war. This is our war, not yours.” General Garrison replied, “300,000 dead and counting. That's not a war Mr. Atto. That's genocide.” However much the conflict was made out to be genocide rather than a civil war, the Somalis considered it an internal affair, not to be dealt with by external parties. The ineptitude of inexperienced fighters was also shown to be a major contributing factor to the operation’s failure. Sergeant Eversman said to his troops, “Hey guys I know this is my first time as chalk leader…” Further, the newest addition to the Army Rangers, the trigger-happy Private
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10 Movie Evaluation 2 - Chad K. Bush Jared Hegwood English...

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