Monday, March 31, 2008
So last night I saw Stop-Loss, the new movie with Ryan Phillipe about a dude who enlists to fight in Iraq, does his duty (so greatly that he earns a purple heart) and thinks he's getting out. Instead, he's gets "stop-lossed" which basically means the government finds a loophole in his contract and he involuntarily has to go back to Iraq for another round-- or go on the run and move out of the country for the rest of his life.
It was a good movie, even though it seemed a little scattered at times. Kinda like the director, Kimberly Pierce (who also did Boys Don't Cry) didn't really know what she wanted the main point to be-- so she danced around a couple of ideas. Even still, it was a powerful movie-- and I cried not once, but twice in the movie (don't tell no one).
Anyways, there are no spoilers here, I just find it a little funny that movies and television shows about the war are being made while it's still going on-- with no definite end in sight. To my knowledge, they didn't do that during Vietnam...immediately after, but not during.
Now, I read somewhere (can't remember) where the writer suggested that Stop-Loss was kinda like some reverse psychology to get the public to agree that re-instating the draft is the thing to do. The whole concept of stop-loss is that there aren't enough soldiers to send to war, so the good ones (or those who haven't lost limbs) have to recycled. After seeing the movie, and having seen the director's last film, I disagree. I think it's pretty much common knowledge that the majority of Americans see the Iraq invasion as a mistake-- and would be absolutely against any kind of draft - especially after the disgrace of Vietnam. The film was pretty blatantly anti-war.
Sometimes it gets easy to just lump the war into the "things that make me sick about America" category-- without really humanizing the soldiers (kids really) that are sent over there, and killed. Not to mention the psychological issues they come back with. But this movie, reminded me, all to well. At one point, one of the characters who has been brutally maimed by a bomb says that he actually wouldn't mind being stop-lossed because if he went back to Iraq, the government would have to give his family their green cards. I don't know how true that is-- I did a little, quick research and came up with nothing. But I did find out that there are 20,500 non- U.S. citizens serving in the military. They've earned the very clever title of "green-card warriors." This in a country where one of the main debates in our presidential election is about how terrible illegal immigrants are to our society. I don't know about ya'll but I've never read the aforementioned statistic before or heard it fly from Bill O'Reilly's ever-running mouth. Seems like it should've at least came up at some point.
Here's hoping we get the hell out of Iraq, sooner rather than later.