Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Email Answering Break

Posting will be light over the next few days as I try to catch up on emails from readers. Meanwhile check out this link at Michael Tucker's Gunner's Palace.

"The war in Iraq is far from WWII or even Vietnam. A tiny sliver of society is fighting a war while the rest of the country watches. We are not all "in this together". We live in two separate realities. I began to see that this film was more than just a snapshot of a place and time -- it could bring the war home. For me, it wasn't about being 'for the war' or 'against the war,' it was about the people in the war. They needed to have a voice.

Tucker came back again and again to Iraq for reasons he himself doesn't quite explain, at least, not in one sentence. The closest he comes to an explanation is when he wears a personal medallion with the likeness of a soldier who had died after hearing someone Stateside remark that at least the dead were volunteers. Well some people rap and some write poetry in between raiding enemy safehouses and Michael Tucker will certainly tell us the words but he may have a hard time with the voice. There are some things you have to know before you can know them; and some voices you have to hear before you can hear them.

"I asked soldiers what they thought and their answers were surprisingly simple. After nearly a year, it wasn't about Iraq, the Iraqis, democracy, Donald Rumsfeld or oil. It was about them. Simple. They just wanted to finish the job they were sent to do so they could go home. As a soldier/poet says in the film 'You may not like this, but please respect it.'"

Tucker describes himself as being left of center, but that is irrelevant to his central question. Have we given the troops a job they can finish and the means to finish it? Or do we send them out again, on another day, with divided orders from a divided nation?