Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Noticeable Absence of Hollywood

The Sands of Iwo Jima, The Longest Day, Midway, The Fighting SeaBees, The Guns of Navarone…the list could go on for a page or more. All wonderful, patriotic movies I can’t get enough of when Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Veterans’ Day roll around. All movies which showed us the heroism of America’s warriors, recounted sometimes forgotten battles, or helped us relive some of America’s greatest victories.

One of the best things about those movies is that so many of them were made while World War II raged on, or were released shortly after the war. This type of support for our fighting men and women was incredible, and well deserved. It undoubtedly kept American’s focused on truly supporting the troops, which does include supporting their mission.

Hollywood obviously saw America differently then. They apparently felt a need to be patriotic, to be supportive, pro-American. But, that’s no longer the case.

“I support the troops, but not the war.” How many times have we heard that from the far left Hollywood types? At least too many to try to count on a Google search anyway.

No matter the count, I don’t believe them. I don’t believe, even for a little bit, that they support the troops. They don’t support them, but won’t say as much. They know the firestorm they’d find themselves in if they publicly espoused their true feelings about the military. So they stick to the cliché line, and leave others outside Hollywood, like Cindy Sheehan, to speak for them.

We never see or hear any of the "We support the troops,..." from them, but we get plenty of “…, but not the mission” from them.

If they honestly supported the troops we would hear it in their words, we would see it in their actions. Their support is conspicuously absent, but their anti-mission rhetoric and protests are plentiful.

If they supported the troops we would see them following in the footsteps of their Hollywood predecessors on overseas USO tours. If they supported the troops, we would occasionally find them taking some sort of action, or making some sort of speech reflecting that support. But none exist.

If they actually supported the troops, they would be making movies to tell the stories of their heroism. They would be reliving the battles of Afghanistan and Iraq on the big screen, showing the success we’ve had, the prowess and audacity of our troops, and sharing the courage and strength of young wives and families carrying on here at home.

But then again, their disdain for the military and its mission may have isolated them so far from what’s really happening in the war on terror they might not have any ideas for positive movies about this war. So I’ll give them just a few from a long list of possibilities.

They could relive the battles for Fallujah, highlighting the incredible feats of our Marines and soldiers who fought block to block, house to house, and room to room. Several of our warriors received some of our nation’s highest awards for valor in Fallujah. I think everyone should hear the stories of those Marines, soldiers, and their units.

The assault into Iraq, an army moving faster and farther than any before in the history of warfare, detailing the stories of the Generals and the units who led the charge would make an awesome movie similar to some World War II epics.

The victory in Afghanistan, working with local tribes and militias, succeeding where so many others had failed before is bound to be taught in military history, tactics, and strategy classes for years to come. It needs relived on the big screen.

Our Civil Affairs units who’ve been working diligently for the last couple years to assist with agriculture, rebuilding schools, hospitals, and public works projects is a grand epic. It might not be as glamorous as the battles, but it is no less important and has the potential to be a dramatic movie if done right.

I’m sure there’s an audience for a movie retelling the work of our military doctors working with Iraqi families to cure their children of crippling or life-threatening diseases, injuries, and birth defects. Their provision of medical expertise, unavailable under Saddam, in an effort to save so many children would be a heart-warming movie.

I think a movie paying homage to the family’s who endure the combat deployments of their loved ones, dealing with the rigors of suddenly finding themselves as quasi-single parents, and the challenges they overcome is absolutely needed.

But, I also know I have to be careful what I wish for. The current state of Hollywood, with its absolute revulsion of anything that might illuminate the success of our nation, and subsequently its leadership, would likely inspire them to make movies reflecting that sentiment.

But for now I’ll keep hoping they find the Next Greatest Generation worthy of having its stories told and Hollywood following through on its claims of “We support the troops.”

No comments: