Mar 20, 2010

Where life is cheap

Last Sunday, when there was nothing much for me to do, I decided to pop into the cinema to watch the Academy Award winner movie, The Hurt Locker which won the Best Picture category for 2009.

The storyline of the movie is base on the sacrifices of the US Army soldiers who are on duty in Iraq to provide security and to flush out the insurgents. It tells of a group of soldiers and a time bomb detonator who patrol the streets of Baghdad. Each time when they are out on the streets, there is fear that one might not come back alive. And very often, they will think of their families back home. And soldiers do cry!

Although it is only a movie, what has been shown is basically what the US soldiers have to endure in real life situations in Baghdad currently. In fact the chances of them being killed are extremely high. Because the soldiers are not able to differentiate between the insurgents and the ordinary people, they become easy targets. And when the insurgents mingled with the public, they can open fire or detonate themselves as suicide bombers easily. In fact, many soldiers have been killed either by suicide bombers or road-side bombs which are planted as an ambush. When the soldiers are patrolling on the streets, the insurgents can open fire like snipers from the rooftop and windows from the buildings. In other words, these soldiers are like sitting ducks waiting to be 'slaughtered' like a sacrificial lamb! Even with the advance technology of stealth and the Predator, neither one can save them.

In such a guerrilla warfare, there is no way the US Army is going to win: neither the battle nor the war. They have lost in the Vietnam War and the Russians too have lost the war in Afghanistan. In both wars, guerrilla warfare were engaged through the effective use of the tunnels by the Vietcongs and the supreme rein of the mountainous regions by the Afghans. And now the insurgents and the terrorists have the suicide bombers. While the US soldiers seemed to enjoy their booze and good life in the army camp, the terrorists seemed to 'enjoy' death and therefore, have already won a psychological warfare against the US soldiers.

With such a high mental stress on the soldiers and the fear of death looming over their heads each day, I believe many are on the verge of mental breakdown. I hope the soldiers can be sent home the soonest possible and wait to fight a more meaningful war: a war which they can be proud to fight and to die for.

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