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LIONS FOR LAMBS

A MOVIE BY ROBERT REDFORD

 

The title Lions (soldiers) led by Lambs (generals) derives from a distant time and another war:   WWI a German General’s remark regarding inept English generals leading hundreds of thousands of brave soldiers to their senseless deaths in Europe’s dirty trenches.   

This plot portrays several layers:

Fighting soldiers, driven by ideology to defend the country, connected to Academia, where teachers are no longer educators but “salesmen”; the news media, seeking sensationalism (broadcasting banality in the absence of the extraordinary); and , the Politicians:  trying to get out of the Iraq/Afghanistan mess… where real politics are absent and only the ultimate prize matters:  the White House.

Close-ups of the actors’ faces create THEATRICAL DRAMA captivating the audience throughout.

Dialogue is intelligent in the absence of any real action other than the ill-fated military landing in a remote Afghan mountain ridge.  Today intelligent dialogue prevails even in remakes of old movies or historical dramas.

Today, however, perhaps we’re more intelligent than before (or do we need to define “before”?).

Fighting a global war on terror with enemies who haven’t evolved past the Seventh Century beyond adopting new types of weaponry, requires new approaches and strategies… just as in WWI the introduction of tanks broke through extensive networks of interlocking trenches and barbed-wire in a matter of months.

Taking high ridges in Afghanistan is neither historically or tactically new.  It is documented since Greek, Roman and Medieval Times through World Wars I and II, and in the recent Israeli Six Days and Yom Kippur Wars, the most eloquent examples being the Monte Casino and the Golan Heights.

Changing hearts and minds is tactically imperative.  The PR war is so powerful that obscure incidents such as Abu Ghraib become pivotal.  How many such incidents occurred and went untold during the preceding 2000 years of war from the Romans to WWII’s camps and prisons?… perhaps millions?

Bad causes promoted by good PR emerge victorious over TV, cable, computers, the Internet or YouTube.  The reverse also applies.  Countering bad PR is colossal.  It takes history anywhere from 30 to 50+ years to reshape and re-project a political, social or military event!

 Consequently, we’re all becoming Advocates for our own causes, products, and policies, even prior to releasing them to the masses.  PR rules the day.

Tragically, however, people died…not on a sunny afternoon saving a bridge in Normandy (Saving Private Ryan)…but in a distant, dark, cold, snowy and forgotten mountain ridge of Afghanistan.  

The movie’s posters depict Redford, Streep and Cruise, PR symbols of their own political agendas.  The two college graduates, abandoned dead in Afghanistan, metaphor of human sacrifice in the name of politics, are not shown…. BECAUSE GOOD PR SELLS…!  …Even movies!)

Renoir once said:  “everyone has his reasons”. This is very true of this movie and of the characters and social “milieu” they represent.

Unfortunately, more green fields are covered with ever more white gravestones…while bright minds are lost…

Hedi Enghelberg | Gail Tenzer

 Hedi Enghelberg is a published author and columnist.  Gail Tenzer is a Political Scientist.

AUTHOR | HEDI ENGHELBERG

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED HEDI ENGHELBERG |  FORT LAUDERDALE  /  USA


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