Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Re-release Apocalypse Now

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Re-release Apocalypse Now

With the latest intelligence coming from the CIA’s largest overseas base since Vietnam painting a dire picture of Iraq, I submitted myself to watching Francis Ford Coppola’s epic film of the late 70’s. A must see for all who have 4 hours at their disposal especially in today's world.

It was a major revelation of what war is really about. Coppola was masterful in utilizing harrowing shots of helicopters swarming with a rising sun backdrop. The choppers played loud music on their way to destroy a village that was just trying to go about their daily lives. Lt. Col. Kilgore (masterfully played by Robert Duval) is a commander like none other. Fearless as bombs hit the ground near to him. Standing as his soldiers duck when someone shouts “Incoming.” Without flinching, he sees the situation getting worse as he sips his cup of coffee a helicopter had landed in a square is demolished when a villager throws a grenade inside the chopper. Kilgore deems them “savages”.

The battle escalates and Kilgore breaks his conversation about surfing calling in a napalm attack. Meanwhile he demonstrates the safety of the area by ordering some of his men to surf on the beach, stating that if he says it’s safe to surf, that it indeed is safe to surf.

As he removes his shirt to get ready to surf the beach himself, we see the napalm fireball behind him, instantly major fighting is reduced to intermediate gunfire. The village burning in flames. Duval delivers one of the greatest lines in film history, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning… It smells like victory.” He goes on to say that, the war is going to be over one day. Alluding they should relish every whiff of napalm they can get.

If you switch the backdrop and sets from palm trees and jungle to dessert and buildings, I am sure the differences in terms of battle scenes are not much different. I saw through some of the censored things the imbedded journalists were able to get on the air. Air strikes on a city that unprovoked. A true free fire zone.

It seems the media has played down this war to nothing more than a couple of car bombs going off, a couple of insurgents with RPGs or AKs, but indeed there is much we do not see when wars are fought. Imagine being an Iraqi in Fallujah. Imagine the harrowing sight of seeing helicopters swarming in, airplanes dropping bombs, followed by tanks firing. Wave a white flag, it doesn’t matter.

Luckily, the only leaders such as Col. Kilgore have been limited to commanding posts at prisons such as Abu-Ghraib. Of have they, recent reports also state napalm use in the attack on Fallujah.

When it gets too hot, get napalm.