Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Lately my thoughts keep circling back to the film Restrepo. One thing that struck me is the way many (not all) of the soldiers seem limited in their vocabulary and metaphor to describe or process their experience or thoughts. They stay focused on their tasks with a kind of slogany, black-and-white thinking. It's understandable on an individual level - how else to go through the motions in a situation of terror, danger and nightmarish destruction? Yet set against the stunning landscape of Afghanistan's Korengal valley, and the weathered tribal leaders the soldiers meet with, the soldiers seem naive, but more - undeveloped - both to do their assigned work effectively, and to understand what they are doing. I wonder how much the missing language will hinder their healing. I long for a more enlightened American policy.

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