Monday, May 26, 2008

In The Valley Of Elah

I just watched In The Valley Of Elah starring Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron.

It’s about a Vietnam war veteran who went searching for his son, who’s an army regular, who came back from an attachment to Iraq but was reported missing.

Tommy Lee Jones acted as Hank Deerfield. His son was Michael Deerfield.

To cut the long story short, after some initial denial by Michael’s platoon mates over his actual whereabouts. Near the end of the movie, one of them, called Bonner, finally confessed to stabbing (over 40 times) Michael to death. Michael’s platoon mates also chopped up his body and burned his body parts.

Originally, they wanted to bury the burnt body parts. But they were overwhelmed by hunger and used Michael’s credit card to buy themselves 3 chicken meals and forged Michael’s signature to sign on the bill. This just showed how numb and unfeeling they had grown to become. A very sick, sure and serious symptom of what psychologists call “post-traumatic stress disorder”.

This movie illustrated how sick some of these army regulars have become. They have totally lost their conscience after being subject to senseless bloody, gory violence day in day out in Iraq.

So much to the extent they don’t even feel the slightest sense of guilt and remorse over the killing and eventual cover-up of one of their platoon mates.

Michael, was very much affected by the violence in Iraq too. There was once, (before he died, of course) he was driving a Humvee along the streets of Fallujah and he literally ran down an Iraqi kid. As there was a rule that they were not supposed to stop at all when they were passing thru any town. He felt bad about it at first. He even called his father in America and cried that he wanted desperately to get out of Iraq right there and then. Hank thought that Michael was just experiencing typical emotions associated with a tour of duty.

After some time, not only did Michael seem to get over the guilt, he even enjoyed torturing a haji prisoner. There was a haji man who was shot in the arm, and as they were on their way to the hospital, Michael kept pressing his finger into the haji’s arm where the bullet wound was. Michael asked, “Does this hurt?” The poor haji man screamed “YES!” in agony but Michael relished in tormenting the haji and kept pressing his finger into the wound repeatedly.

At the end of the movie, Hank hung outside a school, a tattered American flag sent by his son before coming back to America, upside down to signal that everything was not all right and the country was in distress. He duct-taped the ropes of the flag staff and instructed the school's custodian to leave it like that, even at night.


Blogger Solid Snake said...

I never have the chance to watch this kind of movies. Usually it's movies like We were soldier or black hawk down which is also based on true story.

Sad that Iraq war has transform Iraq from Typical Totalitarian State into an anarchy state.

Hmm if you want to know know inside life in Iraq, i recommend you go to this site ""

This guy lives in fear of getting killed more by terrorist, Sunni or Shiite milita than US and Iraqi forces

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 2:21:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

What do you think will happen to Iraq if US totally withdraws its troops from there? Would Iraq plunge into further darkness and anarchy and in-fighting? Would an all-out civil war between the Sunni and Shiite muslims break out in full scale?

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 3:50:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Solid Snake said...

If US and the rest of Coalition troop withdraws its troops from Iraq there will be full of chaos over there. Not when Iranian, terrorist and shiite militia is active to destroy Iraqi government.

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 7:51:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger JOEPSC said...

Americans have not learnt at all from wars, from Korea to Vietnam to Afghanistan to Iraq. Imagine the cruelties and violations of human rights inflicted, the lies and cover-ups made necessary, and the awaiting retribution in all manners.

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 8:10:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Solid Snake said...

Hmm Korean war, First gulf war (1991) and Afghanistan 2001 war was the only war that was supported by the public and the world. The rest like Vietnam and 2003 Iraq was wasn't.

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 10:27:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Solid Snake said...


Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 9:33:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger JOEPSC said...

solid snake,

Perhaps in wars, one may be more "just" that others. Iraq was fought supposedly "to remove a dictator and destroy weapons of mass destruction".. now where is the WMD?.. how many lives are lost, particularly the innocent men, women and children.

A self-appointed "world policeman" breaks his own preaching of justice and human rights.. think of Abu Ghraib prison - the abuse, torture, sodomy, homicide, etc!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 5:41:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

one of the only reasons why US whacked Iraq instead of North Korea is because of Iraq has tons of oil reserves to be tapped whereas North Korea is a deeply barren and impoverished worthless land.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 9:17:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

the longer American troops occupy Iraq, the more Iraqis hate America.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 2:16:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger expatbrian said...

The Iraqi's have managed to survive and even prosper for centuries with no help from the Americans and will again if the Americans ever regain and semblance of dignity and honor and get their butts out of there.

I speak for many Americans when I say how absolutely and totally ashamed I am of my governments tyrannical behavior and how sorry I am for the horrors we have brought to the Iraqi people.

Worries of a bloodbath if we leave are unfounded. It is already a bloodbath and will continue to be as long as we are there. The only way to help Iraq is to get out of their country.

As far as Iran, those two countries have been living side by side in peace and war for centuries too. Leave them alone to work out their differences.

Lions and antelope don't always live in peace either, but that doesn't mean its necessary or good to interfere in their relationship.

Monday, June 2, 2008 at 6:53:00 AM GMT+8  
Blogger Mockingbird said...

To Brian: I guess the US government shouldn't be bothered about Iraq plunging into an all-out civil war after its troops there are pulled out heh? Afterall, it's not like Iraq is any better now with American occupation.

Friday, June 6, 2008 at 11:22:00 AM GMT+8  

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