Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ground Truth

Has there ever been an anti-war movie? No really, it's a fair question. Apocalypse Now apparently was one of the 'greatest anti-war movies ever made'. So what were all those marines in Jarhead doing cheering Apocalypse Now's Ride of the Valkyries helicopter assault? They were cheering because it rocks. But there's nothing special about Apocalypse Now. They could have been cheering Full Metal Jacket, or Platoon, or even The Deer Hunter - anti-war movies all. I'm prepared to bet that everyone in the US military saw every anti-war movie ever made and guess what? It didn't make any difference. Not a single one of those films had what it took to dissuade them from joining up, heading overseas and doing all that shit all over again.

How about non-fiction like The Ground Truth? The critics all agree, The Ground Truth is wrenching, provocative, searing, impossible-to-ignore, disturbing, etc, etc. Even the stridently pro-war NYT was moved. "The Ground Truth stands out as an especially pointed indictment of the American military's treatment of its own people on and off the battlefield." Ha ha ha ha, onya NYT! It's not the war, it's just the way it's being run. God forbid the NYT would print anything anti-war. Newsweek was similar, "The Ground Truth... is a powerful, polemical, probing examination of the devastation the war has taken on returning soldiers." Um... is that anti-war? Kinda, I guess. Seriously, The Ground Truth is another in a long line of 'anti-war' films that will have virtually zero effect on the propensity of white people to go abroad and kill foreigners for bullshit reasons.

Broadly The Ground Truth has four main themes.

The cruelty of the military

Yawn, seen it all before. The military inculcates people. It reduces them to killing machines who think wogs deserve death. And what? The people in this film detailing their dehumanisation didn't know this? Didn't they see Full Metal Jacket and every other goddamn movie? Watch the people in this film as they earnestly tell of what they went through in basic training as if those who haven't done it would have no idea. It's the first hint of a disconnect that pervades the whole movie.

Experiences in Iraq

Likewise everything these veterans describe as having taken part in, in Iraq, has been graphically depicted in anti-war movies beyond counting. Violence against innocents, shooting women, variations of torture - we've seen it all. Certainly the people recounting their experiences in this film saw horror with a reality way beyond 1024 x 576 pixels with 5.1 sound. Being in a place with the smell of burning flesh in your nostrils is infinitely more real than watching it on TV. But we're watching this film on TV aren't we? For us as viewers it's just more of the same.

The return home/ mistreatment by the military

These are the other two themes. But I'll just lump them in together because they're related and because the movies that have already dealt with these themes did likewise. There's been plenty of movies about coming home. Like Coming Home. And like Born on the Fourth of July. The people in this film showing us their shattered bodies and describing their mistreatment by the government seem surprised. How could the government have treated us this way? It's almost like all those anti-war Vietnam movies had never been made. Or they made no goddamn difference. Pick one.

Bullshit anti-war movies

Every still and every bit of footage in this movie from back-lit heroic troops to out-and-out war-crimes won't stop anyone from piling in to do their bit for the next ginned up bullshit war. We even get to see that famous night-scope machine-gunning of three men in a field. I originally saw this in an office with half a dozen otherwise right-thinking guys, all of whom cheered. They didn't care for it when I declared they'd just cheered a war crime. And here it is featured in this anti-war film. Wooh! Man, that rocks!

Everything in this film has been seen before. And all of it was seen by the very people in this film. Can you dig the irony? The people in this film intent on telling us about the wickedness of the military, the hell of combat, and how they came back from war all fucked up, had already seen all the films intent on telling them the wickedness of the military, the hell of combat, blah, blah, blah. It seems they imagine that this film will affect us in a way that all those other films didn't affect them. Or something.

Truth is, none of the people in this film get it. None of them have figured out that they were the villains. Says one fellow, 'I'd rather have somebody say welcome home, than thank you.' Huh? What are we thanking him for? Does he still think he was defending America? Or that he was doing something good? Says another fellow, 'Waiting 120 days for healthcare is bullshit. It's a good thing that when I was called up, I didn't say I'll get back to you in a 120 days.' Mate, you're wrong - you should have told them precisely that. Or some variation of it beginning with a capital F.

All of the people in this flick were variations of self-obsessed. The Iraq war is wicked because they suffered. The victims of their invasion and occupation are given very little consideration. Even those upset by killing innocents have failed to make the crucial leap to realising that everyone in Iraq is innocent - innocent of attacking America, innocent of threatening America, innocent of doing anything other than defending their country from a most perfectly vicious foreign invader. None of them seem capable of flipping the situation and imagining themselves as the invaded and how they'd view foreign invaders who behaved as they did. Is this difficult? Seems so.

A real anti-war movie

Here's how to make a real anti-war film - tell people that they're being lied to. Tell them that they're pawns being used by cynical motherfuckers to kill people who never threatened them. Tell them about Hawaii and the sugar growers. Tell them about the slaughter in the Philippines. Tell them about the con of the Lusitania. Tell them about the bullshit WWI human soap stories designed to whip up hysteria against the Germans. Tell them about the US Fed funding the Bolsheviks. Tell them communism and the Cold War was a scam. Tell them about the treaty of Versailles being run by the bankers to bleed Germany dry. Tell them about Roosevelt starting the war with the Japanese with the utterly foreseen Pearl Harbour dog and pony show. Tell them about the Gulf of Tonkin. Tell them about the USS Liberty. Tell them about Oded Yinon and his plan for the Middle East. Tell them about 9/11, PNAC, the OSP, and the Pentagon under the command of dual-passport Israelis. Tell them Al Qaeda is a myth.Tell them that Iran has no nukes.

All of it was a pack of lies with Hollywood as complicit as any. And the unspeakable truth is, yes, their sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers died for nothing - nothing except lies. The way to make people truly anti-war is to tell them that they've been bullshitted into making the ultimate sacrifice. Anything other than this is just more bullshit. And bullshit is all we'll ever get from the Hollywood marketing wing of the international banking war-machine.


Sorry, I should give an honourable mention to Camilo Mejia. Of all the people here, he was the guy who actually put his arse on the line. He stood up for himself, held on to the truth, and sure enough, did jail time. His words at the end of the film are perfectly beautiful.


annemarie said...

"And bullshit is all we'll ever get from the Hollywood marketing wing of the international banking war-machine."

Bravo! Applause!

What a fine writer you are. What a fine piece of writing this essay, erm movie review, is.

Thank you mite :)

btw, I think that this is so good, that it's more than a movie review, that you should post it over at the church. Just sayin' ;)


nobody said...

annemarie, you sure know how to make a guy turn red, ha ha.

Hmm... I wasn't gunna send this to wrh, but maybe Mike Rivero would be interested. Or maybe not. I have a spotty hit rate with him. I'll give it a burl and we'll see what happens.

annemarie said...

wrh? I wuz talking 'bout the church ofnobody. how'd you get wrh from that?

confused. tho' I get that wrh is big and drives the hit parade.

oh well, carry on mite ;)

kikz said...

nice job noby :)

the latest 'real wUrld' i've heard..
enlistment is so low, they've started offering cannon fodder, us citizenship. we've known this for quite some time... w/the mex natls.
but now the headhunting has even gotten as far afield as idi amin's old crew in uganda.
as i understand it, blackwater is doing the headhunting.

now, imagine those troops being let loose on the homies. think they'll even momentarily pause in mental anguish as to shoot or not?

David A. Andelman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kikz said...

hi again.. somebody has submitted the conclusion from this piece to wrh.. rivero has it in his readerletters section :)

sigh.. no attribution though :(

nobody said...

Hey AM,

Sorry mate, it's just that in my head that translated to 'give it a wider readership', given that the church gets about 50 times the hits of the cinema. But otherwise I can see your point. But then again, half the reviews here are less about the actual film and more about the 'big picture', (ahem). But I'll keep the flicks here and the broader blatherings over there.

Otherwise kikz, I posted the conclusion to him. I'll run over and see where it is.

How it usually works is - if I think I have something that might interest him I drop him a short line and paste a para to give him an idea. I do this for maybe half the things I write, and he's chosen to post, I don't know, maybe a quarter of those. I have no opinion on him not posting me. But I am always appeciative when he does. His workload and dedication in keeping up that website is extraordinary. I don't know how he does it. And I certainly ain't going to get antsy if he thinks something of mine doesn't suit him. (Oh! For some reason apollonian just popped into my head!)

kikz said...

interesting that mr andelman, or some entity assuming his identity has found you noby.. and decided to make his presence known.

as i was not familiar w/andelman's work, nor his history i visited his site, and read up, ch 9.5.... on the keneysian/melchiorian influences pertaining to the treaty of versailles.

i am a neophyte as to economics, keyenisian or otherwise... as i have only studies its effects viewed thru an austrian school/mises lens, for a very few years and w/only mild attention.

what little i do understand of keynes, i hold no affection for, as from adelman's chapter confirms the mises view, keynes/melchior would seem responsible for germany's going off the 'keynesian refered barbaric' gold standard to fiat marks. we all know what fiat currency is good for.. papering one's toilet.

but i have a question should adelman visit again...
understanding this is one chapter in what appears to be a very detailed tome........
after mention of the house of morgan, and its agent melchior...

why is there no mention of the house of rothschild? after all, morgan is an agent of rothschild, as are/were all the robber barons, rockefellers etc., on the other side of the atlantic.
keynes and others, brothers in of lords... bloomsbury cambridge.... nice tidy nest.....

quite possibly it may be that andelman neglects this mention in only this chap, hopefully it is covered in another. too bad i can't afford to buy his book, and find out.

one other point...
well known.. by that time... the bank of england was owned lock/stock/barrel by rothschild .. how is it, that andelman attributes its coffers as empty?

nobody said...

Onya kikz,

I should have done this myself. I'm now curious. More later.

kikz said...

another thought i had later....
aftr reading his bio... might pertain to his not mentioning house of rothschild.
and rethinking my read...
seemed, unless tongue in cheek... quite the apologist for keynes...

but he did overtly mention menchior was a jew and that keynes hadn't realized it til much later, as if in another part of the book, this point would be expounded on... so i dunno.....hmmmmm.

but, he is..... a membr of CFR.

if he is in fact whom he claims to be...
naturally, my suspicions are further aroused.

nobody said...

Hooly Dooly!

The thick plottens!

nobody said...

Well I'm stumped.

What was that cove doing here? Is he that relentless a book hawker? He came to a blog with a daily page load of 20 hits to flog his book? And plug for speeches and lectures? Huh? He'd be better off putting up a table at a school fete.

You know kikz, he wrote that book The Fourth World War with the ex-head of the French secret service Count de Marenches. The title of the book became common currency with all the neocons. Marenche posited that the world would dissolve into war between christians and muslims. De Marenches is exactly the wrong kind of spooky. Assassinations, coups, all sorts of monkey business. Andelman also has ties, I don't know how great, with Burson Marsteller. Are you familiar with them? They're faaaaamous. For all the wrong reasons natch.

I checked him against my statcounter log and found only confusion. It's possible he's in there but it's ambiguous. I could find no search that might have brought him here and no one has visited here by way of another site's link. So apart from the 'why', I don't understand the 'how'.

Mr. Andelman! Are you for real? If you'd be so kind as to throw a sop to my curiosity and tell me how it is you came to be here I'd be much appreciative.

kikz said...


may be someone who wishes to further andelman's agenda... i duno..
his profile seems in order...
links to his might go there and inquire as to how he found you...
i don't know zip bout the blogsphere.. as far as ability to search for specific interests..
he may've come here thru les' site.. shrugz...?

in any event, interesting.. none the less...
as journalist... or rather an old school journalist.. he would be inquisitive as to john doe's awarenesses of global events perceptions of them/or lack.... on some level...

never seen him post on les' site.. but, that doesn't preclude his perusal.... :)

kikz said...

good eye noby:)
'twould seem someone is doing some research >:)

The Burson-Marsteller team brings digital perspective to all client engagements. We devise and deploy digital communications strategies and tactics, typically as part of broader integrated communications campaigns. We believe that effective digital communications plan encompass interactive reputation management, online image shaping, and digital business management. Specific services within our focus areas include:

* Interactive reputation management involves creating communications strategies, devising policies and procedures, and leveraging social media help companies create dialogue with stakeholders. We work with clients to build and protect a company's brand and reputation online. This may include blogger/user-generated media identification and engagement, word-of-mouth marketing, online crisis/issues management, or research-based programs.
* Online image shaping pertains to designing and developing digital tools that define an organization’s brand such as Web sites, online advertising campaigns, search programs, mobile marketing, and digital video, to name a few. Ideally these elements are developed as part of integrated communications campaigns to provide a holistic marketing message for stakeholders.
* Digital business management relates to leveraging digital tools to help organizations communicate and operate more effectively. Programs may include measurement tools, digital dashboards, intranets and/or extranets, content management systems, training development, and Web hosting services.

kikz said...

ewpzie... forgot to add this

10 Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers
Discussion Draft For Public Comment

The WOMMA Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines gives marketers a 10-item checklist with which to make sure that they are always appropriate and ethical when communicating with bloggers.

This document is a public draft of guidelines for marketers to follow when doing outreach within the blogosphere. It is neither a "how to blog" nor a "what to blog" document. Rather, its intent is to give clarity and guidance to marketers who are working and corresponding with bloggers, and to ensure that their efforts adhere to the standards set by the WOMMA Ethics Code.

These guidelines are designed to help marketers embrace specific practices that are deemed ethical within the blogosphere. Adopting them will empower marketers to quickly identify issues within existing communications and will help ensure that future efforts at communicating with bloggers are ethically sound.

cornstarch in the stirfry indeed....
ya might oughta ask les if he's been so 'reached out and touched'?

nobody said...


I don't know kikz. I don't know if I could be fagged pursuing this further. It's got wild goose chase written all over it.

I have a feeling that the comment by 'Andelman' is nothing more than a variation of automatic marketing. It reminds me perfectly of that America Deceived cove. There's a single line referring to the article but everything else is merely the same repeated copy. This likewise. I wonder if the quote from the article is just some automatic bot function cut-and-paste. It'd be a curly algorithm, but do-able. It's entirely possible no human had anything to do with the whole thing. You know what I mean? From now on, I think I shall just blitz any such ads.

nobody said...

I figured it out. Hoboken New Jersey.

No referring link, direct to the article page, which is to say he didn't go to the cinema front page. I'm assuming he cut and pasted the address straight into a browser window.

And he hasn't been back since.

Since he ain't here to join a discussion or otherwise participate and is here merely for the cop-a-free-ride advertising I'll blitz him. And anyone else doing the same thing. Yoroshiku.

So. How did he get here?