Saturday, October 16, 2004

Paths of Glory

Watched Paths of Glory on Turner Classic Movies the other night. This was always one of those movies I'd heard a lot about: Kubrick direction... "Really significant"... "One of the most profound anti-war message films ever made"... etc. But I never had even the smallest urge to actually see it.

Then TCM showed it last month. Even tho we only saw the last half, it was absolutely devastating. Mr. Tild even made calendar entries for this month's showing just so we wouldn't miss the opportunity to see it in its entirety.

This showing was 'hosted' by John McCain, who mouthed a smattering of things about war, 'n' ethics, 'n' junk like that. You know, the big sad truth about McCain is that in the final analysis he's just another Republican tool. In that same toolbox with Rudy Giuliani. Give up on them both, kids. They will ultimately always toe the party line, no matter how devoid of ethics and honor.

Watch Paths of Glory, a fictional story about French soldiers who are tried for cowardice for refusing to engage in a suicidal charge during WWI, and then read today's news story from Iraq about 17 US soldiers who refused to go on a mission because their damaged, faulty, inadequate vehicles and armor made their mission tantamount to suicide. See if today's life- imitating- art scenario doesn't send a chill up your spine.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said he plans to submit a congressional inquiry today on behalf of the Mississippi soldiers to launch an investigation into whether they are being treated improperly.

“I would not want any member of the military to be put in a dangerous situation ill-equipped,” said Thompson, who was contacted by families. “I have had similar complaints from military families about vehicles that weren’t armor-plated, or bullet-proof vests that are outdated. It concerns me because we made over $150 billion in funds available to equip our forces in Iraq.

“President Bush takes the position that the troops are well-armed, but if this situation is true, it calls into question how honest he has been with the country,” Thompson said.

What will happen to these US soldiers, who are now, at this minute, military prisoners? Will a courtmartial be severe enough punishment? Would courtmartial and dishonorable discharge send a strong enough message to the rest of the US soldiers forces in Iraq?

Will these 17 US soldiers face a firing squad?

If it should come to that, it won't be fictional French soldiers facing execution in order to 'preserve' the pride and prestige of a corrupt general; it will be actual, real-life American men and women facing execution in order to 'preserve' the glorious, tough-talkin War President image of George W Bush. Think it could never happen?

Paths of Glory. It'll be on TCM again on Saturday Oct 16th; check your local listings for times. Watch. No wonder it's #40 on the IMdb Top 250.

Also posted over here.

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